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Dan Carrier’s movie news: The Transfiguration and Letters from Baghdad

20 April, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

There appear to be three major strands of vampire film: the Hammer horror, Peter Cushing-style Drac flick, which were fairly straight up telling of the Bram Stoker monster story. Then there is the more recent Twilight-style film, where hunky heart-throbs such as R-Patz may be blood-suckers but are, like all naughty teens, really good in their hearts, just horribly misunderstood. And then there is the serious Outsider movie, like the brilliant Swedish film Let The Right One In, which was remade in 2010 for the American market. The Transfiguration, out this week, sits firmly in the last camp. Set in New York, it tells the story of Milo (Eric Ruffin, pictured), a troubled Bronx teenager who has a fairly unhealthy interest in blood-sucking monsters of the night. He teams up with equally disturbed youngster Sophie (Chloe Levine) and slowly his fantasies of vampish behaviour begin to blur with reality. This is an indie horror that relies heavily on a raft of great performances and an excellent soundtrack to make up for a budget on the lower end of the scale.

• Tilda Swinton adopts a Bloomsbury literary voice as Gertrude Bell in Letters from Baghdad – a documentary about the life and times of the writer. Bell was often dubbed the female Lawrence of Arabia, and was recruited by the British government to help redraw countries’ boundaries after the First World War. Bell was a spy, political fixer, explorer and this documentary draws on hundreds of letters, contemporary reports and archive footage to reveal how she travelled into previously uncharted desert territory and British colonial power.

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