dissertazioni sulle cronache dei vampiri - libro the vampire lestat

It’s not just rumours, it’s a certainty! The first season of the tv series based upon “The Vampire Chronicles” by Anne Rice, made up of 8 episodes, is gonna come out in 2022!

AMC Channel (Walking Dead, Breaking Bad) got the rights on the most prolific literary saga ever and the trilogy of Mayfair Witches, a universe that sold more than 150 millions of copies worldwide. Screenwriters who are working on this huge work plan said that they have big ambitions on the iconic masterpiece that caught and entertained millions of fans worldwide. Anne Rice and her son Christopher have been involved in production and supervisioning as well. The direct participation of the author should be reassuring about the quality of the project. We surely can’t wait for it, but we’re also worried that it could come out as a mess! We don’t want anything to be ruined.

Whoever read The Chronicles knows very well that it’s not only about gothic stories, but it’s about time travels and deep diving into characters’ story and their psychology. The sumptuousness of the description, so meticulous and real is what distinguish Rice’s work. In an interview, she stated that when she works on her books she imagines her characters and their stories so intensely that sometimes she fears they could really appear in front of her eyes.

So, what’s better than talking about The Vampire Chronicles in order to kill the time during this winter?

The immortal vampire’s charm

jacques saint germain l'immortale di new orleans vampiri oltre la leggenda vampiro con calice di sangueVampire has always been the deepest-rooted folkloric legend of every country, since the dawn of time. It has evolved during the centuries changing in form but not in substance.

If we want to make a summary, we can say that it underwent three major metamorphoses. In the pre-christian era it was considered as a demonic enthity who assumed a feminime appeareance in order to seduce young men and drink their blood. During the middle ages it was a revenant, a repellent corpse who came back from the death by a devilish grant, with the purpose to infest whole villages and to bring consupmtion and plagues.

Illuminism put an end to the dark centuries and, in the XIX century, in Europe, while industries keep on developing, Romanticism affirmed itself. Through music, painting, literature, artists expressed not only their willing to be free from the imposed social bonds, but also their willings to escape the reality based upon peculiar themes like restlessness, delusion, individual and cosmic unhappines, boredom, the charm of evil, ambiguity and death.

It’s the last metamorphosis of the vampire that transform himself from the disturbing looking “revenant” to the noble, elegant and sentient man, cultured, intelligent and charismatic. Since Lord Ruthven (the first bloodsucker who presented fascination and human impulses), the vampire has begun to embody the ancestral fears and the most hidden desires of the human being: the fear of getting old, getting sick, of dying, and wish for power, youth and endless life.

Still today, it’s an inexhaustible source for literature, cinema and music. And that’s where tormented and infatuated teenagers from Twilight or The Vampire Diaries come from: in these series, the authors tried to humanize a little too much something that’s not meant to be human, depriving it of its true nature: the need for human blood, the damnation with no redemption, the solitude of an endless life spent in the darkness of the night.

Anne Rice and her vampires.

Interview With the Vampire DVD
Interview With the Vampire DVD
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The first half of the ’90 saw an exponential increase of the interest towards the “dark” themes that were so close to the “romantics” of the late ‘800. This managed to happen thanks to the release of four movies that imposed a suggestive drift towards vampiric/gothic genre among horror movies. Dracula by Bram Stoker in 1992, The Crow, Frankenstein from Mary Shelley and “Interview with the Vampire” in 1994. The last one, taken from The Vampire Chronicles, was succeeded by a sequel who got lesser fame: “Queen of the Damned“, a movie who tried to incorporate the next two books from the Chronicles: The Vampire Lestat and the homonymous “Queen of the Damned“.

However, “Interview with the Vampire” remains in the black heart of the fans. The appreciation it still receives today is unequalled by any other movie or tv series that came after; it can only compete with Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula. The reason behind this unquestioned success is surely due to the scenography, to the soundtrack and to actors and costumes besides the simple and thrilling plot: in other words, nothing was left to chance, and that’s why the movie was awarded with a large amount of Oscars and Golden Globes nominations. The movie was awarded with Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design and Best Make Up/Hair at the BAFTAs in 1995.

The main reason for this success is, in my opinion, that Rice’s vampires are perfect models of night creatures in their pure essence. They sleep in the darkness, burn under the sun, they wanna be a part of the world, but solitude is their destiny. They’ve got a magnetic gaze, as one of the main characters from the movie says, but they only seduce with one purpose on their mind: blood. They can’t breed and don’t have sexual instincts, only feeding brings them a pleasure strong as an orgasm, as vampire Louis explains to the journalist recording his story.

By attributing this feature to her characters, Anne Rice breaks a very common and shallow binomial: the combination sex-blood that does not define the real vampirism, but a series of sexual practices that fall within BDSM practices or the Renfield syndrome that’s still a paraphyly. Her creature are not able to feel guilt, anger, affection or love; their sensual and gender fluid behavior only has the purpose of making the hunt more enjoyable, and to get a sort of consent from the victim.

The author is true to her readers and doesn’t try to make anything easier: vampires have got a strong power, they’re immortal but not free from pain, torment, boredom or nostalgia. While getting to know them deep, we wonder if living an eternal life is actually a good deal.

Nineties: the new romanticism

highgate cemetery vampira Elizabeth Siddal
Original Photo by petr sidorov on Unsplash

As we already said, in the first half of Nineties, movies as Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Crow and Interview with the Vampire were the set up for a renewed interest towards literature, fashion and the values that characterize the gothic style and more. The dark charm of Brad Pitt, Cruise and Banderas was also freshened by a new and morbid curiosity towards vampirism. The echo of that enthusiasm is today stronger than ever.

This favorable context brought to light the “real vampires” in America: people with strong energetic needs; they came from the goth subculture with the urge to affirm their identity. During those years the first “vampire communities” were born and the first public events took place. In the famous “Mother“, a night club in New York, a young manager began to organize themed nights called “Long Black Veil”; they’re called “Endless Night” today and represent the more stylish, suggestive and elitist event you could join if you love the creatures of the night.

As a consequence of the success of “Interview with the Vampire“, as digital media developed and gave the chance to get informations with ease, a lot of associations were born in Italy, together with social groups, promoting cultural events based on photography and music related to the gothic theme.

Anne Rice is considered as the mother of modern vampires and is accompanied by great authors like Poe or Lovecraft, not only for the literary style, but especially for the strong impact that their works, as the ones from the romantic age, had and keep on having on the collective imaginary and on whatever modified our modern society, changing the tendencies, even if in an indirect way.

We hope that the new “Vampire Chronicles” coming out in 2022 is gonna be as faithful as possible to the books, mainteining the same characteristics of quality and cure in details that “Interview with the Vampire” had: if so, we can say goodbye to the other movies or tv series we’ve seen so far! In any case, it surely won’t go unnoticed. It’s gonna be something extreme: a big flop (I hope not!) or a big success, immortal as its characters.

I care a lot about this, I wanna live again the same emotions and immersion I felt the first time I went to the cinema and watched “Interview with the Vampire“. While waiting, we’ll discuss the books from “The Vampire Chronicles“…

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