Things I love about Queen of the Damned
Also inspired by @i-want-my-iwtv call for action, I felt the need to defend my personal love for this film, though it is a bad adaptation.
1. Jesse as a co-protagonist of the story. In the book, Jesse is just one piece of a very large puzzle, but the movie gives her almost equal development and time as Lestat. No, I don’t enjoy their forced romance, and would prefer if that had been left out. But I do love that she’s the lens through which we see Lestat’s history, and how she plays more of a forward role in the overall story. She is brave but is allowed to make mistakes, and is a powerful female character because of that.
2. Lena Olin as Maharet. She brings the character alive with the sheer amount of grace and power she puts into her performance. Maharet feels like she is ancient, and also above the world, but not in a pretentious way. Simply that she is separate from humanity, something she slips up on by allowing Jesse to stay at the compound.
3. The design and look of the Great Family Tree. The tiny tablets with ancient writing fits far more into an old world aesthetic than whatever elementary design I had come up with in my head when I’d read the book. I love how they bleed towards the end of the movie. I love how the branches stretch out not so much like branches on a tree, but like veins and arteries, further driving home the importance of blood.
4. The concert venue being outdoors. Whenever I reread QOTD I have a vague feeling of claustrophobia with how small Cow Palace feels. The tight space lends itself to the ensuing chaos, but the outdoor concert gives more tension imo. The threat and danger of the rogue vampires can come from anywhere, and though we see them in the crowd, when they descend from above it heightens the fear that Lestat might really be in danger.
5. The way the blood drinking mind reading is portrayed. Showing mental powers or mind anything in film is hard. It can either read too cheesy or too realistic. I like the way the film makes the mental blood connection look like a tunnel, like we are being transported along blood vessels to see what the characters are seeing, without revealing too much.
6. Aaliyah as Akasha. This is not far down on the list because of any order, simply because it’s been said by so many of us I didn’t want it to be redundant.
7. The soundtrack. Likewise with this. So many people love these songs, and I probably wouldn’t have discovered Deftones, one of my fave bands, without this soundtrack (and the very hot ‘sex’ scene over Change (In the House of Flies)).
Listen, I know this movie isn’t a good representation of the book. I know it probably isn’t even a good movie by objective standards. But I’ve still rewatched it more than IWTV, and I still love way too much of it. Perhaps that is because it came out when I was first reading the books, so to me, it’ll always be the adaptation that I’ll associate with my fledgling VC days.
Now I feel bad for bashing this movie! I had asked for some love for it, and this was so touching and so generous to it, and like, I hope the ppl who were involved with it had fun making it, and I hope they know that some ppl did enjoy it and do think of it affectionately.
Yep, Anne reversed her opinion on Tom’s performance, but she did not care for QOTD.
Someone out there might have more time-relevant sources to link to (reblog/comment if you do!), I found this vid on YT from 2009, looks like Anne released it herself, so she can speak to this in her own words.
“Well, I didn’t care for the movie of “the Queen of the Damned” at all. I begged the studio not to make that movie. I told them that the readers really didn’t want that movie, what they wanted was a was a movie based on “The Vampire Lestat,” the second book in the series, and the studio went on and made the movie, and the movie was not really based on my work. They used the names of the characters, but they replaced original material with material that they had written for them by a scriptwriter. And the movie was a great disappointment to most of my readers.
“I still get letters to this day asking me why I let it happen and, of course, I couldn’t control it there was nothing I could do. They had the right as a studio to make that movie in and there was nothing I could do to prevent it.”
^So that’s Anne’s opinion.
You didn’t ask but it’s relevant to note that the fandom (as a whole and as individuals) went through some or all of these stages w/ that movie
- When it was announced, the old guard were excited about it (did you know that in 2000 Wes Bentley was being considered for the role of Lestat??),
I know bc I photoshopped him blonde and blue-eyed w/ my limited skill-set at the time and No I don’t have that to show you but I DID IT,
- The fandom was invited to be (unpaid) extras in the concert scene!!, and were thrilled to do it,
- Then it came out, and there was disappointment that so much had been changed from canon (BRUNET!LESTAT and WTF MARIUS??? IS LESTAT’S MAKER??? WHAT?! IS??! THIS JESSE/LESTAT SHIP????% DO NOT WANT being primary grievances), the one change we mostly all approved of was Aaliyah’s performance being awesome and her being POC in a series that has few POC (although at the time I don’t recall that second part being as applauded as it is now),
- There were waves of bashing the movie, even though we mostly all agreed that Aaliyah was great,
- It’s still bashed today (I do it, too, but I try not to be TOO harsh),
- ^A combo of the above or other reasons, etc.
…AND YET, it also is loved/enjoyed by many in that:
- There are ppl in the fandom who were brought in by that movie,
- Or enjoyed the soundtrack,
- Or find it nostalgic,
- Or find it so-awful-its-great (like the Room),
- ^A combo of the above or other reasons, etc.
Anon, I assume that if you’re asking if Anne ever reversed her opinion on movie!QOTD, you may be looking for her approval on liking it.
Given the above, one can’t really place a value judgment on it bc so many of us have different feelings about it! As I’ve often said, you don’t need the author’s permission to like a thing (movie/book/tv series/other media), you do not need ANYONE’S permission or approval to Like a Thing! So go forth and Like movie!QOTD as much as you want!!
As a positivity exercise, what do y’all like about movie!QOTD? (ﾉ´ヮ´)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧