Director: Neil Jordan
San Francisco, 1993.
In a hotel room, the reporter Daniel Malloy listens to the story of Louis de Pointe du Lac: it all begins in 1791, when Louis is bitten by the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt.
He becomes his teacher and hunting companion: the two vampires reap victims in the taverns but especially in the noble circles of New Orleans, because Lestat loves luxury and prefers the blood of the aristocratics; Louis, on the contrary, retains a human sensibility, which prevents him to indulge his new and obscure nature, and brings him to feed on animals rather than kill innocent people. But, one night, to quench the thirst of blood, he bites Claudia, a little girl orphaned because of the plague, who is adopted by the couple of vampires after being transformed into a creature of the night by Lestat.
Over a century of bites, bloody murders, fires, collapses, travel, escapes and returns to the birthplace, the vampire Louis meets others of his species at the theater in Paris, Théatre des Vampires, where, led by Armand, there are “vampires pretending to be humans, pretending to be vampires”.
Fascinating and sumptuous, Interview with the Vampire is different from any other vampire movie: focused on the diabolical pact in which Louis sold his own humanity to buy immunity from pain, disease and death, is interpreted with the pathos of the beauty, intelligent, painful and voluptuous. Taken from the self-titled first volume of The Vampire Chronicles (1976), a cult saga by the American writer Anne Rice, has a narrative structure (San Francisco, New Orleans, Paris, New Orleans, then San Francisco) able to capture and involve the viewer in a Gothic fresco that revalues the traditional figure of the vampire and gives it new and deeper shades. Through the eyes of a creature of the night, the cinema poetically reflects on itself and on the magic of its own illusion: in a beautiful scene, Louis discovers the marvelous technical invention that allows him to watch the sunrise, for the first time after two hundred years, at the cinema, precisely.
At the end of the tale, Louis simply says “There is nothing more to say” but the experience does not help anyone, because also the reporter begs to be vampirized, made immortal and forever young: what remains unchanged is the eternal condemnation to be every night executioner, the tiredness of not being able to die. The curse of the vampire, condemned to eternal life, chained to the terrible shadow that is his soul, means never being satisfied, means to live eternally in the immobility of his own implacable needs.
As Lestat, in search of a companionship that will never satisfy him, as Claudia, desirous of a physical maturity that she will never get, and as Louis, chained to the memory of his mortal life, tormented by the inability to forget and by the awareness of the curse that afflicts him.
The immortal is all of this, but above all is a sensual figure, of a fascination obscene and erotically perverse, tempting as only the evil can be capable.
With the skill of the director, the photography of Philippe Rousselot contributes to create an atmosphere gothic and melancholy, a mournful attraction for the darkness.