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'Tinker Tailor' director has cyclical theory about vampire craze

December 9, 2011 |  8:45 am

Let the Right One In

As "Breaking Dawn" dominates the box office, cultural critics continue to offer all sorts of reasons for the trend, but few theories have the kind of bold novelty as the one suggested by Tomas Alfredson, director of the 2008 Swedish vampire pic "Let the Right One In."

"It does seem to be a subject that attracts people year after year," Alfredson mulled in a recent interview with 24 Frames. "I guess maybe it's the animalistic side of ourselves." Then he said, "I’ve always thought maybe there’s a connection between women and their periods, something that has been very taboo." He paused. "I can't exactly put words on it, but I've always wondered that."

Alfredson, who as we documented in a recent profile has a quirky and deliberate professional style that makes him a sort of Swedish Terrence Malick, returns to American cinemas this weekend with his follow-up, the John le Carré adaptation “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”

When it comes to vampires, the filmmaker knows of what he speaks. Though he downplays his bona fides (he says he’s never seen “Twilight” or any other vampire films, save for a few Bela Lugosi movies in his childhood), “Let the Right One In” is among the most critically acclaimed of the current bloodsucker batch.

The movie became a well-regarded English-language film too, a coming-of-age story set in Reagan’s U.S. titled “Let Me In.” Alfredson wasn’t entirely thrilled with the notion of a remake — he questioned  “reproducing stuff in another language” and added that he hadn’t seen it.

“I felt like I owned it and I possessed it, as one does when they create something," he said of his feelings when he learned of the film. "It felt a little too fast after  my interpretation.” Then he added, reflectively, “You get childish with these things.”

Fans will get a chance to see Alfredson's work again with “Tinker Tailor.” We can only wonder with curiosity what his explanation might be for the popularity of the spy genre.


Tomas Alfredson moves into spy territory

Gary Oldman goes minimalist with Tinker Tailor

Movie review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

 -- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Lina Leandersson in "Let the Right One In." Credit: Magnolia Pictures