Near perfect

Finally got around, just last night, to seeing Kathryn Bigelow’s 1987 Indie masterpiece “Near Dark”. I don’t use the word masterpiece lightly. In only her second feature film, the writer/director managed to create a lesson par excellence on how it’s done.

Yes, it’s a vampire film, but that’s a little like saying that Bill Gates is a businessman. That doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. It’s also a dead-on study of southern rural disaffection, a start-to-finish thrilling action adventure film, a perfect ensemble character study, a novel take on Romeo and Juliet, as well as being a truly innovative update of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Every single shot counts, every camera angle and edit cut adds to the character, story and suspense, and – unlike almost most films – each and every character is truly interesting, rounded, complex and surprising. In fact, the dramatic arc of one of the so-called “minor” characters is so surprising, with such a startling yet insightful late-story psychological twist, that you may find yourself thinking about him for years to come.

The whole thing is done on a very low budget, with the simplest of visual elements used to pull you powerfully into an entire unique world. “Near Dark” may just be as near perfect a little film as I’ve ever seen. I recommend you go out and watch it. And when you’ve done that, go right ahead and watch it again. If you’ve ever thought you might want to make your own movie one day, and are looking for inspiration, this is the one to watch.

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