Kathryn Bigelow, Near Dark

Various Venues

Kathryn Bigelow, who worked in the ’70s with Art & Language and collaborated with Lawrence Weiner on films and videos, was co-author and codirector of the cult biker movie The Loveless, 1982. Bigelow has reappeared as the director of a beautifully crafted feature film, Near Dark, 1987, that explores some unsettled shadows in the American consciousness. It is an astute blend of genres: a vampire horror film that condenses the nature/culture conflict of the western with the problem of the rootless body expressed in the road movie. It is bound by an atmospheric soundtrack by Tangerine Dream.

While out drinking in a bar one night, cowboy and farmer’s son Caleb (Adrian Pasdar), picks up a pale waif, Mae (Jenny Wright). Reluctantly succumbing to his amorous advances, she gives him a fatal love bite that precipitates his disorientation and his subsequent abduction by her itinerant vampire “family.”

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