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The University of Southampton
FilmPart of Humanities

Postgraduate screenings: Habit Event

Film reel
30 March 2011
Room 1145, Avenue campus

For more information regarding this event, please email Victoria Kearley at .

Event details

(Larry Fessenden, USA, 1995) Special Guest Screening. Introduced by Dr Stacey Abbott, University of Roehampton Reader in Film and Television Studies and author of Celluloid Vampires (University of Texas Press, 2007).

Larry Fessenden’s Habit is the story of a hopeless alcoholic Sam who is undergoing an emotional breakdown following the death of his father and break up from his girlfriend. The film follows Sam as he meets a mysterious, sexually aggressive, and possessive woman, Anna, who he discovers receives sexual gratification from drinking his blood when they make love. Is Anna a genuine vampire or is she a symptom of Sam’s deteriorating mental condition? Shot on the streets of New York, Habit is one of three indie vampire films made in the 1990s (the others being Michael Almereyda’s Nadja and Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction) that focus upon a modern female vampire loose in the city that never sleeps - the perfect location for a vampire. The most independent film of the trio, Habit captures in its low budget aesthetic the delirium of the New York nightlife and the attraction of this location as a space of liberation and empowerment for the female vampire. Here the slogan ‘Take Back the Night’ is taken literally, and Sam’s ambivalent reaction to Anna, both attracted to and repelled by her, demonstrates that the female vampire continues to embody cultural anxieties about strong, independent women.

Speaker information

Dr Stacey Abbott,University of Roehampton,Reader in Film Studies

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