‘Byzantium’ Trailer – Saoirse Ronan & Gemma Arterton Draw Blood For Neil Jordan’s Vampire Tale

Written by , on February 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm 

With The Twilight Saga ending (at least for now), it seems as though a new, bolder generation of vampire films are making their way to screens with a few upcoming arthouse choices. Jim Jarmusch is taking on the genre with Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in Only Lovers Left Alive, a film we recently got a first look at. And before that, Neil Jordan delivered his take on the vampire tale on the fall festival circuit with Byzantium.

The first trailer has landed today for the film, which brings together Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan and Sam Riley, and it looks to be a bloody entertaining time. Feeling like a 1960s-filmed genre flick, we praised the film at Toronto, saying “it has many of the tropes of bloodsucker cinema, but also goes beyond them, creating something epic, bloody, and very enjoyable.” Check out the international look below for the film also starring Jonny Lee Miller, Daniel Mays, Caleb Landry Jones, Kate Ashfield, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Uri Gavriel and Thure Lindhardt.

Seventeen years after Neil Jordan first dipped into the vampire genre with Interview With the Vampire, his Byzantium proves that he has lost none of his taste for the bloody and Gothic. Drenched in a rich, suitably gloomy atmosphere, Jordan brings a crystalline vision to bear on this story of two female vampires who wreak havoc on an unsuspecting English seaside community, as the film fluctuates between gory mayhem and melancholic reflection.

Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) is a precocious girl with a bent for storytelling. A natural introvert, her idea of a good time is to put pen to paper and reflect on her inner life. Her “sister” Clara (Gemma Arterton) is the complete opposite: extroverted and sexual, she struts around in stilettos and skin-tight garb, attracting hungry male gazes wherever she goes. Both carry secrets from deep in their shared past — all 200 years of it — which bubbles to the surface as Jordan wends his way through the twists and turns of the plot. It turns out that Clara was involved in a passionate love affair during the Napoleonic Wars, while at the same time Eleanor was abandoned as a child. In the present, both seek to preserve their secret from their unsuspecting new companions. Eleanor falls for a sweet young waiter (Caleb Landry Jones), while Clara settles on a homey, unsuspecting man (Daniel Mays) who has just come into an inheritance: the Byzantium Hotel, which has seen better days. The fun begins as Eleanor and Clara shack up in the hotel, feeding off their victims while attempting to stay one step ahead of their pursuers, who are hot on the duo’s trail after Clara rather violently disposes of a particularly seedy pickup.

Byzantium will see a 2013 release.


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