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TIFF 2012

TIFF movie review: Byzantium Add to ...

  • Directed by Neil Jordan
  • Year 2012
  • Country UK/Ireland

Another vampire movie. But where Twilight is a teen romance with abstinence education, Byzantium is mostly a mother-daughter story with sex work on the side. That sounds weird, and to director Neil Jordan's credit, it is. Byzantium - the name of a haunted hotel, and before that, an ancient Greek city - deals with memory, immortality, and sacrifice.  Gemma Arterton plays an indomitable stripper, prostitute, and mom; the seriously talented Saoirse Ronan is her sensitive loner kid. Both are vampires on the run from a bad mystery brotherhood. Female-forward and class-conscious, allegorical and adventurous, Byzantium is almost the anti-Batman.

Sept. 13, 6 p.m., Ryerson; Sept. 14, 3:45 p.m., TIFF Bell Lightbox.

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