I was under the weather at the beginning of this week, which was fine, and it destroyed my appetite, which was not. The reason I brand myself as an omnivore no matter what I’m up to is that the consumption metaphor rings so true to me that it feels like fact. I literally experience satiety when I finish something good. Food, obviously, is something I love and enjoy, so for my appetite to be missing was just unsettling.
I’m feeling better now, luckily, but still. I don’t care for that.
I’m still picking through The Power of Now. I have about thirty pages left, although the metaphysical arguments surrounding how men and women need women and men to feel complete are keeping me from just plowing through it. That, and I don’t have another book on tap, as the novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was on hold for some reason. I’ll sit down and put some books on hold from the newly trimmed down reading list when I have time. Heteronormativity aside, I’ve been finding The Power of Now incredibly useful in terms of parsing and paring down my focus and not living in the past or the future. I am going to have a lot of things to write down in my commonplace book this week.
I watched Queen of the Damned on Friday with my college friends—we were a Mystery Science Theater 3000-style comedy troupe in college and still keep it up thanks to Rabb.it the first Friday of every month. I’d never seen it, despite running with the perfect crowd for it at the time of release, and it was wonderfully awful.
See, Interview with a Vampire is a solid film. It’s arch and campy and weird, but it heaves together, makes internal sense, and has a plot with a sympathetic protagonist—Louis. It also contains one of Tom Cruise’s best performances as the vampire Lestat. Cruise is rarely called upon to play deliberate assholes, and equally rarely allows himself to. Part of the reason that Rock of Ages feels even more defanged than you would expect a glossy hair to be is because, apparently, casting Cruise as Stacey Jaxx necessitated rewriting the script so that Jaxx, an unrepentant antagonist in the musical, was redeemed in the end.
But Cruise’s Lestat is whiny, petulant, violent, and utterly charismatic. He’s a lot of fun, especially contrasted against Brad Pitt’s self-serious Louis. He’s also a terrible choice for a protagonist, because he’s a static character in the film. There’s nothing wrong with a static character—many of my favorite characters are static—but they’re just not dynamic enough to give you a solid character arc.
(I haven’t read Anne Rice’s vampire novels in over a decade, so I’m speaking just to the ill-fated film franchise here.)
So, of course, he’s the viewpoint character and protagonist for Queen of the Damned, even though Jesse, the young woman who wants to be a vampire actively investigating vampires, makes way more sense. There’s a terrible point in the film where the film decides that the audience will be much more interested in Lestat and Akasha having an erotic bath than in figuring out how Jesse gets from Point A to Point B.
It’s a mess and a shining diamond of that early aughts nu metal/Evanescence-esque aesthetic. Like the original Daredevil film, but slightly more campy. Aaliyah makes a wonderful Akasha, but I so wish she’d had more opportunity to explore film before her untimely death.