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BYZANTIUM

Byzantium

Directed by Neil Jordan, Starring Neil Jordan, Uri Gavriel, Ronnie Masterson, Jonny Lee Miller, Kate Ashfield, Daniel Mays, Thure Lindhardt, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones, Glenn Doherty, David Heap, Patricia Loveland, Warren Brown, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jeff Mash, Gabriela Marcinkova, Christine Marzano, Barry Cassin, Ruby Snape, Jenny Kavanagh, Edyta Budnik, Caroline Johns
Written by Neil Jordan, Uri Gavriel, Ronnie Masterson, Jonny Lee Miller, Kate Ashfield, Daniel Mays, Thure Lindhardt, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones, Glenn Doherty, David Heap, Patricia Loveland, Warren Brown, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jeff Mash, Gabriela Marcinkova, Christine Marzano, Barry Cassin, Ruby Snape, Jenny Kavanagh, Edyta Budnik, Caroline Johns
Staff Review

Staff Pick

Original
Elle
HPB Staff

Byzantium

by Neil Jordan
A feminist anti-vampire film

In a genre stuffed to the gills with sparkly Prince Charmings and sympathetic devils, Byzantium breaks the mold by focusing on a mother and a daughter. In this world, a secret society of powerful men exerts control over the secret of eternal life, preventing women from becoming vampires, so for the past two hundred years, our two protagonists have been on the run. Framed through the diary of the young daughter, Eleanor (played by up and coming actress Saoirse Ronan), this film hearkens back to Frankenstein and similar works of the Romantic Era, with flashbacks between the Victorian past and the modern present, and a mysterious source of power which wavers between being a gift and a curse. Byzantium deconstructs vampire tropes, with men who are creepy and predatory, a boy who is saved by the girl, and a rich story about trauma and abuse rather than conquest and power. There's even one scene where the director pokes fun at Twilight and its prominent use of Debussy's "Clair de Lune", interrupting the song with a kill. The violence is brutal and beautiful, with ephemeral scenes of blood and gore contrasted with moments of utter calm, and every shot is framed with purpose. To be quite honest, this film is my absolute favorite, and I've seen it at least half a dozen times. It is so richly directed and well-written that every viewing reveals new surprises. If you're a fan of the horror genre, and also interested in the role of women in speculative media, this is a must-watch. Byzantium is currently available for streaming on Netflix.

 
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Vampire mother Clara and her daughter Eleanor flee to a seaside town to try to escape agents of the Brotherhood.

  • Condition: --
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
    • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
    • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
    • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
    • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: DVD
  • Sold by: --
  • Publisher: IFC Films
  • UPC: 030306988290
  • Region: Region 1
HPB pick - Out of stock
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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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