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We went down to the Odeon on Friday night. I must have had the seat with the stickiest patch of carpet in the entire cinema – at the end of the film my feet were superglued to the floor… another Battleaxe Blog.

Anyway, vampire films are generally not my thing, but I actually enjoyed Byzantium, even without the local interest and trying to spot anyone we knew appearing as an extra. I have never seen any of that Twilight stuff and wouldn’t want to, but I would guess this film is more adult, arty and tasteful.

Years ago I saw ‘Nosferatu’ with Klaus Kinski, and this had a bit of the same dark, languid eroticism. It was, naturally, very violent. Two people were actually decapitated, not particularly realistically, and there were gallons and gallons of blood, mostly to be scoffed up by the thirsty vampires. We did wonder why the Hastings Police were not more curious about the spate of bloodless bodies which would have been left lying about the town. The stars, Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan, did a good job, the one fiercely pneumatic, and the second fey and sensitive.

The Hastings locations, mostly filmed at night in the rain,  looked very atmospheric – they seemed very keen on Bottle Alley – much rushing up and down there. As well as the ‘Byzantium’ hotel front, there were lots of views of the fishing beach, the pier, the seafront, the amusements, a bit of the East Hill and the Azur Pavilion transformed into a palm court restaurant – it looked quite good!

Our friend Joe Fearn (who has now moved to Hull) was an extra, but they cut all his shots except for one, apparently, of him shuffling down Bottle Alley as a down-and-out. We didn’t notice, unfortunately.

The film is well worth seeing. Reviews were generally OK too. Still time to catch Byzantium in Hastings!

Posted 14:39 Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 In: Film

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