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Adaptation of AMC’s Anne Rice – The Hollywood Reporter


Anne Rice’s longing, tormented vampires have reshaped popular bloodsucking stories for four decades, establishing a tone and stereotype that influences aspects of everything from Real blood arrive Diary of a vampire and Sunset.

At the same time, Rice’s story has inspired countless attempts at contrasts – zombie stories that aim to make vampires scary again (see something like 30 days and nights) or to laugh at their suffering (as in both the film and series versions of What do we do in the dark).

Interview with a Vampire

Key point

Nosfera-tuning!

Release date: 10 p.m. Sunday, October 2 (AMC)
Cast: Jacob Anderson, Sam Reid, Bailey Bass, Eric Bogosian
Creator: Rolin Jones, from Anne Rice’s book

What might be most exciting about AMC’s adaptation of Rice’s novels Interview with a Vampire is the creator of the Rolin Jones series (HBO’s Perry Mason) is trying to split the difference — to give fans a Louis and Lestat they’ll recognize, while also putting a dehumidifier in some of Rice’s swampy prose.

It’s a worthy goal if not perfectly executed, and I think undead devotees like one extreme or the other – like genre devs like Bram Stoker. vampire not yet half horror and half horror – will leave you disappointed. But through five of the seven episodes of the first season, I appreciate this way Interview strengthens the central relationship of the source material, refines some of its more humorous aspects, and fully immerses others in the enjoyment. It’s not terribly scary, but at least it’s unsettling.

Unlike Neil Jordan, written by Rice himself, Jones’ adaptation retains the shape of the book but has very few specifics. The framing device introduces us to Daniel Malloy by Eric Bogosian, a seasoned journalist who, more than 40 years earlier, gave an interview to the vampire (Louis’ Jacob Anderson). A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Daniel has turned professional, so he jumped when Louis summoned him to Dubai – chosen, perhaps an isolated place where money could be make your past disappear – for another lengthy conversation and a chance to actually publish this one.

Since Daniel is hardly the “boy” in Rice’s book, the series can almost be seen as a sequel – or at least a critique of unreliable narrators, since The version of his life story that Louis is about to tell has very little in common with what he has been told.

Here, Louis’ story begins in 1910 in New Orleans, with Louis being a fairly successful brothel owner in the city’s Storyville district. Louis is Creole and as such, can navigate a certain degree of success in the city, but he’s still an outsider – a man still grieving over his late father, trying to live following the expectations of his mother (Rae Dawn Chong), protecting his disordered and unstable brother (Steven Norfleet) and realizing that his sexual acceptance could make him a an outcast forever.

Play as Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid), charismatic, confident and utterly voracious. I have read the book and watched the movie more times than I can count, and this is the clearest thing I can understand about the relationship between Lestat and Louis. Partly that Jones and original director Alan Taylor were able to let Lestat and Louis embrace their strange identities. But it is also said that, with his privilege of chastity and self-actualization, Lestat represented something Louis aspired to and knew the entrenched New Orleans establishment would never allow. . The fact that Lestat was a vampire was secondary, at least for a while, until Louis was intrigued by it.

Understanding and feeling the connection between Lestat and Louis is not the same, remember you, like wanting to constantly wallow in their suffering, or at least Louis’s growing suffering. He’s unhappy that a person of color is despised and marginalized in New Orleans in the early 20th century and discontent grows soon as his new-found immortality. For me, the series became a tagline almost instantly, and the series reached the same point after a few hours – a 66-minute pilot, followed by more traditional 40-minute episodes – until Louis and Lestat fall ill- consider the decision to expand their clan to include teenage Claudia (Bailey Bass).

Just as Kirsten Dunst’s amazing and extraordinary performance as Claudia ultimately elevates the film, Bass’s arrival is an adrenaline rush for AMC’s. Interview. She’s funny and delightfully wild, and her suffering as a baby vampire is so different from Anderson’s, that I can accept the real realities behind Claudia’s aging. from books and movies. She might be 14 years old here, maybe pass for an adult; it’s a semi-necessary play to reduce the horror and a play that is absolutely necessary to use an actress who doesn’t go through puberty too early through her portrayal of a character who can’t age. in an ongoing movie.

The series still finds bitterness in Claudia’s dilemma of a woman trapped in a child’s body – with a retroactive influence clearly coming from Let the right person inis getting its own TV treatment on Showtime – and the wide-ranging resonance in this blended family is forced to exist on the margins of society.

Subtext works better when combined with stupidity and farce, part of Interview with a Vampire campaign to take such things seriously but not too seriously. Turning Louis’ interrogator into a seasoned and professional expert gives the series an ironic distance. Daniel, both a prisoner and a guest of honor in Louis’ luxury Middle East high-rise, is always scorned whenever his hosts compare, for example, the story coming out. his eyes with the story of his first murder. Sometimes punctuating the rhetoric makes the movie feel smart and meta, but sometimes it makes the movie feel superior to itself – or at least to viewers who prefer simplicity. caught in the rope. I chuckle sometimes, but often I think, “God, why choose a source material that you’re sure you can see beyond?”

Fortunately, the series’ rich technical delights are always there to admire. Jones and Taylor have Boardwalk Empire about their résumé and their appreciation for the style and social unrest of the period as reflected in Mara Lepere-Schloop’s detailed production design, Carol Cutshall’s impeccable dress and photography. lavish photo by David Tattersall. You can feel that Jones will soon be making a story about the downfall of Storyville and vampires being just the gateway, but there’s enough gore and brutal violence to satisfy most viewers. Anytime you think Interview with Vampires is on track to get too cold – and Rice’s strict adaptation will feel like a dip in boiling water – you get an explosion of gore or floating, ass sex, enough to conjure up sounds giggle perhaps intentionally (but maybe not always).

The solid cast provides some background, or as much as possible with an outfit that looks ready to make a Nosferatu-themed perfume commercial. Anderson is convincingly longing and uncomfortable in his environment, while Reid can convincingly command every room. They have enough precision chemicals to sell an instant toxic coupling, and if you don’t buy it, that’s where Bogosian irritation and Bass’s dangerous outburst come into play. embodies the racist, snobbish establishment of New Orleans.

I want to say that in the end, Interview with a Vampire need to get closer to choosing a tune – to decide how much they want to commit to the original material and how much they want to give up altogether (as it won’t be necessary, depending on the number of seasons in the door). row). But maybe when you’re mixing genres like this, it’s okay to have a bit of chaos going on. I would also like to see a little more sense of vampireism – as a metaphor in the story of the current COVID era that has long been interpreted through the lens of AIDS. Overall, it’s a promising start with plenty of compelling factors to consider in the meantime.

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