The grateful undead

President Obama. Let’s just ponder that for a while.


As I pointed out a couple of postings ago , all of this was foreshadowed by the switch in Hollywood’s undead preference from zombies to vampires, which should be more than evident when “Twilight” sets some box office records its opening weekend on November 21. Flesh-eating, lumpen proletariat walking corpses are out. Sexy, superhuman, elitist revenants are in.

The McCain campaign tried to smear the Obama team by suggesting that they were vampiric  elitists who live off the toil of regular Joe the Plumbers, hoity-toity aristos who believe they are better and smarter and more attractive than everybody else. The problem was that maybe that’s what people wanted. Maybe, they thought, it was time to have someone who was a cut or two above the average rather than below in the White House,  given the track record of the past 8 years.

Anyway, as fate would have it, one of the more troubling vampire movies of all time, Claire Denis’s “Trouble Every Day” (2001), is screening this Saturday at the Harvard Film Archive. Denis, who is one of the greatest little known European filmmakers around, will be on hand for the screening to discuss. In a sense, “Trouble Every Day” tends to contradict my undead argument, for although it stars some pretty sexy actors — Vincent Gallo and Beatrice Dalle — it might be one of the worst date movies ever made. One scene in particular will make it very clear why. You might want to ask Denis about it.

And if you’re intrigued and want to see more of her films, and I highly recommend it, the Saturday screening is just part of an ongoing retrospective of Denis’s films screening at the Archive. She’ll also be attending a screening Friday of her rarely screened 1994 films “U.S. Go Home” (a sentiment that might have changed after last night’s election) and her 1991 short “Keep It for Yourself.”

Meanwhile, for those of you interested in seeing some real parasitic elitists, tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Brattle Theatre members of the National Society of Film Critics will be conducting a panel discussion of their organization’s new book, “The B List: The National Society of Film Critics on the Low-Budget Beauties, Genre-Bending Mavericks, and Cult Classics We Love” (remember, a lot of these guys get paid by the word). Brattle director Ned Hinkle moderates and those attending will include Ty Burr from “The Boston Globe,” Jay Carr from NECN, James Verniere from “The Boston Herald” and myself. See you there.

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