Friday, January 2, 2009

The Year in: Vampires

Part II

The appearance of Vampire Weekend was strange, even disturbing, but simultaneously exciting, because I had just started working on an article about Dracula, tourism, and a trip to a small town in Transylvania. Over the following months, vampires seemed to lurk in every corner. First came the bus-stop ads for a sports drink called "Tru Blood," which turned out to be a subversive marketing campaign for the HBO series "True Blood," about attractive young vampires and telepathics in a fictional Louisiana town.
Then a friend happened to attend a lecture on "Historical Amnesia in Contemporary Russia," in which professor Dina Khapaeva discussed the fantasy novel Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozo), which centers on a war between armies of "light" and "dark" vampires. The book came out in 1998 and was hugely popular. A movie adaptation of Night Watch was made in 2004 and went on to become Russia's highest-grossing film ever. It looks and feels like The Matrix, but with pale, grim-mouthed Russian vampires instead of pale, grim-mouthed American "Agents."

Then these somewhat alarming ads for Remy Martin champagne started popping up amidst the shadows of the subway. It was hard to tell what the intended message was, but there was one I could not rule out: in adequate quantities, champagne induces vampirism.

[to be continued]

1 comment:

Kaela said...

part III !!! i'm excited for it.

yes, those champagne ads are disturbing. i was in a car that was plastered exclusively with them last week and i wondered what kind of subliminal effect it was having on me. and everyone else. hmm...