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Nadja Movie Review

almereyda fonda michael vampires

Abel Ferrara's The Addiction flops because he wanted to make a movie about vampires that wasn't a vampire movie. Doncha just hate filmmakers who consider that genre to be beneath them? (Hey, anyone who makes a frozen turkey like Fear City has no right to sneer at time-honored bloodsuckers.) Michael Almereyda's Nadja is another story. Nadja is fun! Let's face it, any movie that was partly shot in Pixelvision with a Fisher Price toy camera AND casts Professor Peter Fonda as Dr. Van Helsing (in the venerable tradition of Edward van Sloan) has got to be a kick. When a drained Lucy (Galaxy Craze) explains that she ate a bag of M & M's except for the yellow ones and Fonda vigorously intones to his nephew, “Let's face it, Jim, she's a zombie!,” it can't help being a kick and a half. The title character (played by Elina Lowensohn) looks sorta like Gale Son-dergaard, Gloria Holden, and Frida Kahlo all rolled into one. Her twin brother Edgar (Jared Harris) is one of those nice vampires who only wants to get married to his nurse Cassandra (Suzy Amis) and live happily ever after. Clearly made on the cheap, Nadja is nonetheless impressively atmospheric and saucily respectful to vampires.

1995 (R) 92m/B Elina Lowensohn, Suzy Amis, Galaxy Craze, Martin Donovan, Peter Fonda, Karl Geary, Jared Harris; Cameos: David Lynch; D: Michael Almereyda; W: Michael Almereyda; C: Jim Denault; M: Simon Fisher Turner. Nominations: Independent Spirit Awards ‘96: Best Actress (Lowensohn), Best Cinematography, Best Director (Almereyda). VHS

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