I guess I’m on a Catherine Deneuve kick right now. I thought this might be good for anyone working on Fall. 80’s goth + sexy vampires.
The thing I love most about Deneuve is that she’s undeniably gorgeous, but she doesn’t use it to define her film career. If she were in America she’d be the girlfriend in many macho action movies or romantic comedies, then hit her 30’s and never work again unless it was as someone’s mom. But being in Europe, and being fearless in her work, she’s played many varied and complicated women. In Tony Scott’s, “The Hunger” she’s in her 40’s and playing a bisexual vampire!
Miram, Catherine, and John, David Bowie, are husband and wife and have been since 18th century France where they met. Miriam is a never-aging Egyptian Vampire. Her and John live in Manhattan and teach classical music. John was promised everlasting life when Miriam chose him to be with her. That did not mean everlasting youth, and John begins to age rapidly. He seeks the help of Sarah Roberts, Susan Sarandon, a doctor who specializes on aging disorders, who thinks he’s a weirdo and blows him off. When she sees him hours later and he’s aged decades she’s intrigued enough to look for him after he storms off.
She goes to his house only to find Miriam. Unknown to her, John has been placed in a coffin, still alive, only to be trapped in his decrepit body for eternity.
After Miriam exchanges blood with Sarah, Sarah becomes a sweaty, twitchy, “junkie” badly in need of a fix.
The movie was release in 1983, just as AIDS was becoming an epidemic, a killer of gay men, intravenous drug users, and blood transfusion recipients. Sex and blood are potent symbols of how dangerous sex became in the early 80’s. Miriam is the aggressor, and she is the one to “enter” her prey, “infecting them” by biting them, penetrating their skin. After feeding off their blood, they die.
In the end, Miriam meets a cruel fate. Her undead lovers drive her to her death. A metaphor of sorts of the Reagan era’s attitude on AIDS. “These people” somehow deserved their pitiful fate because of the irresponsible and “immoral” actions.