Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Release date: 2009
In 1764, Voltaire wrote in his Dictionaire Philosophique that: “These vampires were corpses, who went out of their graves at night to suck the blood of the living, either at their throats or stomachs, after which they returned to their cemeteries. The persons so sucked waned, grew pale, and fell into consumption; while the sucking corpses grew fat, got rosy, and enjoyed an excellent appetite. It was in Poland, Hungary, Silesia, Moravia, Austria, and Lorraine, that the dead made this good cheer.
“We never heard a word of vampires in London, nor even at Paris. I confess that in both these cities there were stock-jobbers, brokers, and men of business, who sucked the blood of the people in broad daylight; but they were not dead, though corrupted. These true suckers lived not in cemeteries, but in very agreeable palaces.”
This distinction between the walking dead and the very real corporate vampires we still suffer from today, and their similarities, has been explored before; the surreal Hanno Cambiato Faccia being a primary example. In 2009 Park Bench journeyed this terrain again via the pimp of capitalism – the Advertising Agency – and left us with a wonderfully stylistic exploration of the vampire.
The Dresden Files) who is investigating ‘Friday’s tragedy’, though his presence is ominous rather than reassuring.
Forever Knight and Blood & Donuts) who is a member of another arm of vampire society but he reveals little to Alice and thus little to us. Much of what we gather we gain from observing Alice but that tells us little about her father and about the story.
The film is fully titled the Death of Alice Blue – Part 1 the Bloodsucking Vampires of Advertising, and very much we feel that we have walked in part way into a story and the film ends with much more to tell us. However, it also feels deliberate. This is not poor exposition but a deliberate withholding of salient facts and backgrounds. This is why I placed the word ‘issue’ in quotation marks. There is a frustration attached to the minimal exposition but it is done so purposefully it is really part of the film. Some will hate it for that, it has to be said. I also need to mention that the film’s homepage actually offers exposition that perhaps the movie refuses.
7.5 out of 10 seems a fair score but somehow I feel that if a little more of the veil had been lifted we would have been dealing with one of the best of the genre. Hopefully Park Bench will get the opportunity to make part 2 and within that we will see the full range of his vision and story.
The imdb page is here.