DESTINY, DESIRE, DAMNATION. THE MOTIF OF (UN)PASSING IN VAMPIRIC FILMS AT THE TURN OF THE 21 CENTURY
The motif of passing is one of the most significant elements of the image of a vampire. As a creature which is unable to die by natural means, vampire represents both fear and fascination of death; curse of eternal life and desire of immortality, which is — by all means — as old as civilization or culture. Popularity of vampire motifs in contemporary films provides a great amount of reflections about such crucial for vampiric imaginations aspects as fear of ugliness, old age or death. On the other hand, they often reflect potential horrors of immortality, costs of eternal beauty and curse of inability to die, which was brilliantly exposed in Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht. Although those aspects of vampiric films were present in reflections about wampiric movies, almost all of important works consider vampire films up to Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The idea of this paper is to expand scientific reflection about the motif of passing in vampire films beyond this point, considering movies produced between 1992 and 2012. Those films can be categorised in three groups. The first group contains characters (mostly vampires) which are trapped in infinity, unable to get old and often suffer because of it. They consider their immortality an obstacle to participation in social and technological advancement, but sometimes find it crucial for their agendas. The second group contains people (not only vampires) who escape in immortality because of illness or because they find it crucial to achieve their goals. Those characters often fail to achieve full immortality or die in the process. Finally, the third group contains vampiric characters which were immortal long enough to suffer mental corruption. Their goal is often to find some new meaning for their eternal life or be driven to madness.