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The Addiction (1995)

Directed by Abel Ferrara

It's always my goal to know as little about a movie beyond what initially attracts me to it. "The Addiction", from what I heard, was a movie about vampires. With that useless bit of information, into the VCR goes the tape. The flick begins with approximately 10 minutes of Holocaust footage. What the fuck does the Holocaust have to do with vampires, I ask myself? What seemed like another 10 minutes of dialogue goes by and we are no where near any vampires.

At this point, I'm really not sure where this flick is going until fork-toothed Annabella Sciorra grabs timid small town intellectual, NYU grad student, Lilly Taylor and makes her a proposition, "Just tell me to fuck off and I'll let you go". Fucking cool! Freewill is the issue here. What is going to be Lilly's response? Will she speak the truth and tell Sciorra to fuck off? Does she have the balls or is she too timid to make an on the spot life and death decision?

The Addiction

What Abel Ferrara was saying is there are those who have freewill and those who don't. Freewill is something that must be taken by one's power over another. For most it is a subconscious power and for others that recognize this power they have over others, it can be used as a weapon. And if your power to make choices has been taken from you it can take twice as much courage to get it back.

Let me give you an example. I was in a roommate situation where I lost the use of my living room through no fault of my roommate. The reason this happened was due to the choices I made relinquishing my control of my apartment. So, without her even knowing it, she was imposing her self, her freewill, to do with the living room as she pleased and inhibiting my lifestyle. I was going nuts because I did not have the courage to tell her that she's taken too much control of a common area.

Well, maybe this wasn't such a good example since I never resolved the living room issue. But she moved out so that let me off the hook but you get the idea. To have the courage to be freewilled was at the core of the movie, this question of who has it and who doesn't and in order to take control of your life, you must learn how to use it. Look for Christopher Walken to pop up along the way as he is always fun to watch. -- Rating: $7.50*

Bob Menasian -- copyright 1997


* A note from the editor:

I try to refrain from commenting on a contributor's opinions but, in this case, I can't help it. I guess I have no freewill! Hey Bob, I'm gonna wrap your review around a brick and toss it through drug-addled Abel Ferrara's living room window! Expect a rambling, incoherent phone call from him about his nonsensical tome about vampires. I think you've imposed meaning onto the rantings of a madman.

If "The Addiction" is about freewill then how is 10 minutes of Holocaust footage relevant? I think that the junkie came up short on the running time and, at the distributor's behest, padded out the movie by 10 minutes in a way that wouldn't require him spending anymore of his valuable crack-money... of course, you know I kid... however, I do think that you're not at all clear on what "freewill" is about. I really think what you're talking about (in regards to your roomie) is being assertive.

Assertiveness and freewill are not really the same thing. People who believe in freewill think that human beings are endowed with the power of choice and that the course of their lives are not predetermined. Assertiveness is the ability to insist upon your rights or recognition of your value as a human being. In either case, I don't think the mass murder of millions is a great analogy of "freedom of choice" or the ability of people to "insist on their rights" and recognition of their value as human beings -- only to the extent that when it's applied to the perpetrators and not the victims. Any inmate of a concentration camp who exercised their assertiveness/freewill, ended up as dead as those that did not. But with that said and done, I'm glad things worked out well with your living room situation. Give my regards to Abel! -- Tom Graney, editor/publisher

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