so we went to see Shadow of the Vampire last night at Coolidge Corner. i've been waiting for this to come out here, and sweetie had had such a bad day that he wanted to cry, so when i found the listing for SOTV, i called him up and suggested we go see a movie. unusual for me, since he's more the spur of the moment guy, and i'm the plan for days gal. he picked me up at the gym (side note: finally made it to my yoga class), and we were going to try for a 7:45 show. since that only left us about 20 minutes to get cross town, and honey was already having a little road rage episode, i suggested that we go for dinner first and shoot for the 9:45 show. he was looking for comfort food, and had mentioned going to a steak house earlier, so i was pretty much in the mood for meat and potatoes. fortunately, there's a not half-bad place on the way over called the Sports Depot. i'd never been there before, and only knew anything about it because a friend of a friend used to waitress there. at least i think that's the story.
they have that great rarity in city restaurants - parking. as we pulled in, the lot looked pretty full, and honey turned to me, saying, 'about that parking thing you promised-' ... just as we pulled around to see an empty spot. sometimes, the parking karma is good. 8) the food was pretty decent, and we had plenty of time to be lazy pigs, munching away on big ol' steaks. the noise level was a little high, which was fine for us, because we were in a booth, which buffered most of the noise. but our poor waitress misheard everything i said, pretty much all night. at one point, she asked if we needed anything, and i said 'well, this may be sacrelige, but do you have any steak sauce?' she looked at me kind of oddly, but said in a cheerful voice 'nope, don't think we have any of that.' in a steak house. turns out she thought i asked for snake sauce. i ask you - what would snake sauce be? something you dress your rattler steak with? or the sauce you milk out of an ornery snake? it boggles the mind. she did find me a bottle of steak sauce, tho.
and the parking karma held... there was a spot that opened up in the lot right behind the theatre as we were pulling in.
oh, yeah - the movie. right. that's where i started, wasn't it? i was a little worried when i got bored during the opening credits. it was this odd journey deeper and deeper into the details of a woodcut, depicting all sorts of Arabesque flourishes and Greco-Roman battles, with the occasional Eastern European gargoyle thrown in for good measure. i suppose they were trying to make the point that there's always more than appears to the eye, but eh. fortunately, things perked up once the movie proper started. side note: would you take your two year old to see a vampire film right before bed? several people there did. wonder how *those* kids slept.
and Eddie was fantabulous - of course! well, not of course - i was very pleased to see him do well in one of his first substantial serious roles. i gather he did well in Circus, but that didn't get much of a US release, and i haven't found it on video yet. so this was the first serious role i've seen him in. and he was wonderful. really makes me wish i'd been able to see him onstage in London as Lenny Bruce. that got very respectable reviews. there were moments, of course, where he was just Eddie being Eddie. especially the eye-rolling moment. but when he's trying to settle in to the hotel for the first night, or walking down the tunnel in Orlock's castle... damn fine.
the movie, overall, was an interesting mix of funny, scary and touching. at one point, the producer and writer are asking Orlock (who appears to have gotten drunk, altho i didn't know that was possible according to the mythology) what he thought of Stoker's Dracula. Orlock gives a very moving description of the scene where Dracula is trying to set the table for his human guest. for Orlock, this crystalizes the sheer loneliness of his existence. he wonders if he could remember how to buy cheese, or set a table properly, having not done that in some hundreds of years. the last shred of human-ness in him longs for some contact.
having not seen the original Nosferatu yet, i have no idea how faithful the shots are to the film. but it was really interesting to watch them making the film-within-a-film, and crosscutting from color to black and white.
overall, well worth seeing. i will say it's probably a decent video view, so if you don't want to drop $8 on it now, try to find it when it comes out on video. or DVD. i keep forgetting that's an option these days.