Neil Jordan

Irish director of The Crying Game.

Interview with the Vampire (1994) -- The movie doesn't add up to anything or have any real story "arc," but watching this gothic stuff for two hours is entertaining enough.  Brad Pitt is kind of dull as the vampire with a conscious.  Tom Cruise is a little more zazzy, even if he's still "Tom Cruisey" even behind all that vampire makeup.  Kirsten Dunst, however, is the real star of the show, even if she's not in it as much as we'd like.  Watching her, you realize she was a better actor as a child than she is now (though she's not bad now).  She was incredibly focused back then and brought a lot of power to the screen, where now she just does her cute and dorky thing.  The implications of the movie end up being more interesting than the movie itself, and it could lend itself to a slew of academic papers.  The idea of "killing the father" (as carried out by Lestat's "son" and "daughter," as well as Anne Rice herself killing off her literary fathers like Bram Stoker) is one.  Lots of queer theory on both sides of the spectrum, since homosexuality is viewed both as abhorrent and romantic in this movie.  There's the new world vs. the old, pedophilia, incest, etc. etc.  But those are things you almost have to bring to the table itself; the story, as presented, is just a bunch of somewhat random stuff going on where you either enjoy the gothic lush and attractive characters or you don't.  In the end, you know, it's just a Anne Rice novel: overdone, romantic, kinda dumb, and kinda fun. B

Not I (2000) -- A fourteen minute movie based on the Samuel Beckett play, and maybe about thirteen minutes too long.  The entire thing is a close-up of Julianne Moore's mouth while she's quickly going through Beckett's words--words that are interesting enough, but the visual gets old really fast. D

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