Over break, I got to watch 2 rather unusual movies last week.
The first movie was called “The Countess.” It was based on the story of a real Hungarian countess named Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed, aka ” The Blood Countess.” After her husband had died, she was accused of torturing and killing hundreds of young girls. As time went on, a story had formed that the countess killed the girls to bathe in the blood to retain her youth, much like Dracula drains blood form his victims to live. This movie is a fictional interpretation based on this rumored story.
Far from a cheery holiday movie, my sister and I quite enjoy history-based movies and decided to watch this on Netflix the 2 nights before Christmas. “The Countess” starred the beautiful Julie Delpy as Ezerbet Bathory. She portrays the countess as a very intelligent woman who gets what she wants. She is not your damsel in distress type of character, but rather someone who would have been a strong leader especially in a time during war. Of course then she something cray cray.
The movie attributes her motivation to kill young girls to her vanity (obviously because she wants to stay young) and sudden yet strong love formed with a man much younger than her age.
I really enjoyed the imagery in this movie. The costumes were beautiful, and I guess I’m a sucker for pale imagery and strong contrasts. There were definitely some rather disturbing scenes, but then again watching a movie about the bloody countess really should have been a warning. I think its a great way to spend 1.5 hours if you like historical-like movies and somewhat a psychological thrilling story that tries to weave all the myths of the Countess Bathory. Though, its a more romantic perspective versus how brutal the countess really was.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
The other movie I watched by myself while sorting out my bills. “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” has been on my anime movie to watch list since it came out my college frosh year. I think Chris recommended it to me first and put it on my harddrive, then Megs told me it was a good watch, but I just never found the time to watch it because I for some reason don’t watch anime anymore. It’s one of those rare “slice of life” animes I enjoy, although I suppose it is because it has a good helping of sci-fi mixed in.
As the title says it all, this story is about a high school student named Makoto. She has a really bad day (such as failing her quiz, messing up her cooking project, getting tackled, the usual worries for a HS kid). To end her really bad day, her bike’s brakes stop working while she is riding down a hilly street, headed straight for a railroad intersection.
She dies by a passing by train…or so it would seem. While she was thrown off her bike, she somehow teleported a few minutes before the accident with the train happened. Makoto had gained the ability to literally leap through time (like she has to really get a running start and throw herself into the air!).
Like any other student who feels like there is isn’t enough time in the world, she uses her new found ability to make things work her favor (higher grades on a would-be pop quiz, avoiding the a place & time to prevent an awkward situation, rewinding 4 hours of karaoke singing over and over again, ect.). And like any other person who has left high school feeling “I never want things to change because I love my friends and how we are now and am afraid of the unknown future,” Makoto finds time leaping to be her savior from this. Of course there are consequences to her time leaping, one involving how she got the ability in the first place.
I definitely recommend this anime because it’s entertaining and the ending is not predictable. The one thing I do have to say is that even though the high pitched squeals of anime main character females has eternally annoyed me, Makoto’s crying and unnecessary yelling pissed me off to a whole new level. It is the worst movie in the world to watch while your parents are napping. Other than that, its a good watch and the animation is rendered beautifully.