Tamed Monsters and Human Problems in Cinema’s Interview with the Vampire (1994)

Emneord (Nøkkelord): modernisme, humanisme, natur, film, monstre, vampyrer

Sammendrag

What can the taming of the monster reveal about its construction and the potential and limits of change? Modernist, individualist qualities of Western culture and society have shaped the construction and deconstruction of the monster in popular culture in general and film in particular. The idea of an historically emergent human nature and its associated norms is key to the construction of the monster as transgressive. Less obvious but nonetheless apparent is the constraining role this Western construction of human nature continues to play in recent cinematic attempts to approach the monster more closely. These are explored through a consideration of vampire movies within the horror genre, with a focus on Interview with the Vampire (dir. Neil Jordan, 1994), as arguably both influential within and emblematic of a more general trend. The film dismantles the conventional monster figure of the vampire, humanising her by detailing her transposition from a natural, human setting to something otherworldly. Human (read as Western) qualities are reinforced and salvaged from the disturbing ambivalence of conventional monstrosity, as we observe the logic of ‘human’ adaptation to alien conditions. In this way, both the paradoxical model of freedom as conformity to nature and the naturalising reification of contingent social groupings are re-affirmed.

Forfatterbiografi

P. Stuart Robinson, UiT Norges arktiske universitet

is Associate Professor of Political Science at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. His research concerns the cultural and social dynamics of continuity and change in world politics. He writes about film for a wider audience for Montages.no.

Takksigelse: I would like to thank Eva Lavoll and Ingvill Husum for their helpful thoughts and observations about monsters in popular culture.

Referanser

Adorno, Theodor W. 1976 [1969]. “On the Logic of the Social Sciences”, in The Positivist Dispute in German Sociology, edited by Theodor W. Adorno et al. Translated by Glyn Adey and David Frisby. London: Heinemann, 105–122.

Amis, Martin. 1987. “Introduction: Thinkability”, in Einstein’s Monsters, authored by Martin Amis. New York: Harmony, 1–32.

Arendt, Hannah. 1958. The Human Condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Badmington, Neil. 2003. “Theorizing Posthumanism”, Cultural Critique 53, 10–27. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.1353/cul.2003.0017.

Beagon, Mary. 2002. “Beyond Comparison: M. Sergius, Fortunae Victor”, in Philosophy and Power in the Graeco-Roman World: Essays in Honour of Miriam Griffin, edited by Gillian Clark and Tessa Rajaz. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 111–132. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299905.003.0007.

Bell, Duncan. 2010. “John Stuart Mill on Colonies”, Political Theory 38, 34–64. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.1177/0090591709348186.

Barber, Benjamin. 1996. Jihad vs. McWorld. New York: Ballantine Books.

Barber, Benjamin. 2008. Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole. New York: W. W. Norton.

Berlin, Isaiah. 1969. Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bhambra, Gurminder K., and John Holmwood. 2018. “Colonialism, Postcolonialism and the Liberal Welfare State”, New Political Economy 23, 574–587. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2017.1417369.

Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson. 2008 [1979]. Film Art: An Introduction. Eighth edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Butler, Judith. 2009. Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable? London: Verso.

Campbell, Craig Grant. 2010. “Mill’s Liberal Project and Defence of Colonialism from a Post-Colonial Perspective”, South African Journal of Philosophy 29, 63–73. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.4314/sajpem.v29i2.57049.

Canavan, Gerry. 2011. “Fighting a War You’ve Already Lost: Zombies and Zombis in Firefly/Serenity and Dollhouse”, Science Fiction Film and Television 4, 173–203. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.3828/sfftv.2011.12.

Carroll, Noël. 1990. The Philosophy of Horror; or, Paradoxes of the Heart. New York/London: Routledge.

Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. 1996. “Monster Culture (Seven Theses)”, in Monster Theory: Reading Culture, edited by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 3–25. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.5749/j.ctttsq4d.4.

Conrad, Joseph. 1998 [1889]. Heart of Darkness. Reprint edition. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cox, Robert. 1981. “Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory”, Millennium 10, 126–155. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.1177/03058298810100020501.

Douglas, Mary. 2002 [1966]. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo. Reprint edition with a new preface. Abingdon/New York: Routledge. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203361832.

Ewan, Stuart. 1977. Captains of Consciousness: Advertising and the Social Roots of the Consumer Culture. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Grady, Frank. 1996. “Vampire Culture”, in Monster Theory: Reading Culture, edited by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 225–241. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.5749/j.ctttsq4d.14.

Gramsci, Antonio. 1973 [1971; 1929–1935]. Selections from the Prison Notebooks. Translated and edited by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Noell-Smith. Reprint edition. New York: International Publishers.

Haggerty, George E. 1998. “Anne Rice and the Queering of Culture”, NOVEL—A Forum on Fiction 32, 5–18. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.2307/1346054.

Hayles, N. Katherine. 1999. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226321394.001.0001.

Hendershot, Cyndy. 1999. “From Trauma to Paranoia: Nuclear Weapons, Science Fiction, and History”, Mosaic—An Interdisciplinary Critical Journal 32:4, 73–90. Digital object identifier not available: https://www.jstor.org/stable/44029850 [October 31, 2019].

Heywood, Andrew. 2012 [1992]. Political Ideologies: An Introduction. Fifth Edition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hobbes, Thomas. 2009 [1651]. Leviathan or The Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil [sic]. E-book edition [via ProQuest]. Auckland: Free Floating Press.

Hoffman, John, and Paul Graham. 2006. Introduction to Political Theory. Harlow: Pearson Longman.

IMSDb (author unknown). 2010. “[Script:] Interview with the Vampire: Screenplay by Anne Rice, Produced by Stephen Woolley and David Geffen, Directed by Neil Jordan”, The Internet Movie Script Database, May 19, without page numbers. Available online: http://nldslab.soe.ucsc.edu/charactercreator/film_corpus/film_20100519/all_imsdb_05_19_10/Interview-with-the-Vampire.html [June 5, 2019].

Jameson, Fredric. 1981. The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Jameson, Fredric. 1984. “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism”, New Left Review 146, 53–92. Digital object identifier not available: https://newleftreview.org/issues/I146/articles/fredric-jameson-postmodernism-or-the-cultural-logic-of-late-capitalism [October 31, 2019].

Kant, Immanuel. 2002 [1785]. Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. E-book edition [via ProQuest]. Yale: Yale University Press.

Kilgour, Maggie. 1995. The Rise of the Gothic Novel. London: Routledge.

Kuhn, Thomas. 1970 [1962]. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Second, enlarged edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lau, Kimberly J. 2018. “The Vampire, the Queer, and the Girl: Reflections on the Politics and Ethics of Immortality’s Gendering”, Signs—Journal of Women in Culture and Society 44, 3–24. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.1086/698274.

Leavenworth, Van. 2014. “Making Starbuck Monstrous: The Poetics of Othering in Battlestar Galactica”, The Journal of Popular Culture 47, 688–708. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.1111/jpcu.12156.

Lestel, Dominique. 2012. “Why Are We so Fond of Monsters?”, Comparative Critical Studies 9, 259–269. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.3366/ccs.2012.0062.

Locke, John. 2003 [1689]. Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration. E-book edition [via ProQuest]. Birmingham/New York: Yale University Press.

Losurdo, Domenico. 2011. Liberalism: A Counter-History. London: Verso.

Mitchell, William John Thomas. 1986. Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226148052.001.0001.

Miyamoto, Yuki. 2016. “Gendered Bodies in Tokusatsu: Monsters and Aliens as the Atomic Bomb Victims”, Journal of Popular Culture 49, 1086–1106. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.1111/jpcu.12467.

Murer, Jeffrey Stevenson. 2009. “Constructing the Enemy-Other: Anxiety, Trauma and Mourning in the Narratives of Political Conflict”, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society 14, 109–130. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.1057/pcs.2008.33.

Powell, Anna. 2008. “Duration and the Vampire: A Deleuzian Gothic”, Gothic Studies 11, 86–98. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.7227/GS.11.1.9.

Rice, Anne. 1991 [1976]. Interview with the Vampire. Reprint edition. New York: Ballantine Books.

Richter, Greg. 2015. “Fox’s Lucifer Series Draws Protests”, Newsmax, June 7. Available online: https://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/lucifer-tox-tv-series-one-million-moms/2015/06/07/id/649257/ [December 22, 2018].

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1968 [1762]. The Social Contract. Reprint edition. London: Penguin.

Sabine, George. 1944. A History of Political Theory. New York: Henry Holt.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. 2012 [1818]. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. E-book edition [via Project Gutenberg]. London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, and Jones. Available online: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/41445/41445-h/41445-h.htm [December 22, 2018].

Sobchack, Vivian. 1992. The Address of the Eye: A Phenomenology of Film Experience. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Stoker, Bram. 2013 [1897]. Dracula. Reprint edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Vint, Sherryl. 2011. “Science Fiction and Biopolitics”, Science Fiction Film and Television 4, 161–172. Digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.3828/sfftv.2011.11.

Walker, R. [Rob] B. J. 1993. Inside/Outside: International Relations as Political Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Walzer, Michael. 2000 [1977]. Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations. Reprint edition. New York: Basic Books.

Weber, Max. 2001 [1930]. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Reprint edition. London: Routledge.

Wood, David C. 1985. “An Introduction to Derrida”, in Radical Philosophy Reader, edited by Richard Osborne and Roy Edgley. Thetford: Thetford Press, 18–42.

Robinson’s contribution is part of MaMo—Section 2.
Publisert
2019-11-11
Hvordan referere
RobinsonP. Stuart. 2019. «Tamed Monsters and Human Problems in Cinema’s <i>Interview With the Vampire</I&gt; (1994)». Nordlit, nr. 42 (november), 103–122. https://doi.org/10.7557/13.5007.