Tag Archives: vampires

10 Manic Pixie Dream Girls From Film Adaptations of Novels

5 Jul
This post was inspired in part by Laurie Penny’s amazing article from the New Statesman earlier this week, and the equally thought-provoking response from Hazel of Freaky Trigger.

The MPDG is, by very definition, the girl of your dreams. She first became a trope thanks to Nathan Rabin’s review of Elizabethtown, in which he defined a Manic Pixie Dream Girl as “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures” – but she has existed in one form or another long before he ever coined the phrase.

We saw her in the fifties, when she manifested herself as Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief, and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. In the sixties she was Jean Seberg in Breathless. As the decades roll on, see also: Maggie Gyllenhaal in Stranger than Fiction, Natalie Portman in Garden State, and every character Zooey Deschenal has ever played – ever. Kate Winslet’s character Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind acknowledges the archetype and kind of rejects the label (“Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours“) – but ultimately, she’s MPDG incarnate.

If you want a better definition of what exactly a Manic Pixie Dream Girl’s role is, this Feminist Frequency video sums it up pretty succinctly:

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Ten Books that Should Have be Written

17 Jun

I’m always saying how authors should be writing less alienating female characters, or improving their inclusion of minorities, or just generally writing, say, better vampire fiction. For his 100 Days project, graphic designer Tyler Adam Smith has come up with his own concepts for books that should be, or should have been, written. I’ve put together my top ten – publishing houses, take note.

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Why Do Vampires Suck Now?

21 Jun

I can’t be the only girl who spend her adolescence reading Anne Rice and Bram Stoker, equally lusting over Lestat and shuddering at Dracula. But the state of vampire fiction is a sad one indeed. I’ve read the first Twilight, and the eighth book from the Morganville Vampire Chronicles (it was for a review, I swear), but I don’t get it. I don’t see what’s happened. Vampires are supposed to be repulsive. They should smell like quicklime and soil and want your gross tampons. Failing that, they should be clever and handsome and look like Brad Pitt. They shouldn’t sparkle or eat tacos or take Math.

Here is what I think should be included in vampire fiction to make it engaging again:

  • A vampire who meets some avid Twilight fans (fanpires?) and cheerfully bites off their heads, because that’s what vampires do.
  • A vampire with OCD. In old myths, scattering small items like rice or salt into a vampire’s path caused him to spend hell of time counting the exact number before trying to eat you again. This is probably why Count von Count is so educational.
  • A vampire that can change into a mosquito or a leech THAT WAY YOU CAN SQUISH HIM.
  • A vampire that does not want to date a sixteen-year-old because frankly, you shouldn’t even date sixteen-year-olds outside of your teens so being 200-years-old it’s clearly out of the question.
  • A vampire that is corpulent. Why are they all so fit? They gorge on pints of blood every night.
  • A vampire who FIGHTS CRIME! Oh boy!
  • A vampire with an addiction to Italian food who cries every five pages because he can’t eat garlic bread.
  • A vampire who is thwarted by means of a sunbed. He is named Darque Tan, because children ran.

I am always in the market for a good vampire novel, so if you think I am being too harsh and that good contemporary vampy fic still exists, recommend me some in the comments! [If you’re just gonna recommend My Immortal, though, I’ve already read it and clearly Tara Gilesbie is an unrivaled genius of prose]