Recently I compiled a list of My Top Ten … Fantastic Female Vampires and dared to add two vampires from a film I hadn’t even seen yet – Byzantium.
Directed by Neil Jordan, who also directed the excellent Interview with the Vampire, 1994, Byzantium’s focus is on a mother-daughter relationship set against a male-dominated vampire society.
Well, I have seen it now. Saoirse Ronan is Eleanor, an eternal teenager who feeds only from those ready to die; and Gemma Arterton is Clara, vivacious and beautiful, dangerous and lovingly protective of Eleanor. Where Eleanor aches to reveal herself and be honest about who and what she is, lies are second nature to Clara, for whom prostitution is just a way of getting what she wants from men.
Two female vampires, very different personalities, excellent acting (Saoirse Ronan learned to play Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 3 which Eleanor plays in the film) and beautiful direction – the island with the birds and the waterfall of blood is wonderful.
I love this film, and I’m happy to have these two fantastic female vampires in my Top 10…