This month, we launch our brand new programme of films at Armley Mill Industrial Museum. Mixed Nuts Season begins with a cult classic in the making, Jemaine Clement’s and Taika Waititi’s downtown New Zealand house-sharing Vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows (2014).
Having relocated from Eastern Europe to New Zealand, housemates Viago, Vladislav, Deacon and Petyr are confined to their house during sun-up but party on the streets of Wellington by night. Life, or death, is simple and for the most part the friends live in harmony. But when potential victim Nick is turned they must deal with the complexities of modern life, for better or worse.
It would be easy to dismiss What We Do in the Shadows as another ‘spoof comedy’ but it has much more depth than one may give it credit for on first glance. Petyr, who bares an uncanny resemblance to Count Orlok from the silent classic Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922), spends his time entombed in the basement; a commentary on traditional Vampire films being laid to rest while the likes of Twilight reign supreme. And while there is a distinct lack of any leading female roles, supporting character Jackie at one point describes Viago and co. as a ‘homoerotic dick-biting club’ in a speech that could be a criticism of the countless ‘men only’ comedies that are released each year.
Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi star as Vladislav and Viago respectively and also wrote and directed the film together. Clement is one half of comedy musical act Flight of the Conchords, with Brett McKenzie, and several episodes of their HBO television series of the same name were directed by Waititi. Both have previously worked together on the 2007 romantic comedy Eagle vs. Shark.
The film premiered in Leeds at last year’s International Film Festival where it won the Audience Award, favoured by cinema-goers more so than the likes of The Imitation Game and awards season favourite Birdman. The Guardian‘s film critic Peter Bradshaw described it as “the best comedy of the year”.
What We Do in the Shadows screens at The Palace Picturehouse in Armley Mills on Thursday 16 July from 7PM. The feature presentation will be preceded by a selection of short films and refreshments will be provided.
This event has already proven to be very popular and tickets are almost sold out, so if you’d like to join us for an evening of blood and laughter, don’t be a sucker, head to our online ticket office or Eventbrite page NOW!