Alice Jones' Arts Diary: There will be blood as the temptress from Tamara Drewe plays another vamp

 

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The Independent Culture

The Twilight franchise may be entering its, well, twilight phase but Hollywood's love affair with vampires – in particular those from this side of the Atlantic – remains as ardent as ever.

This weekend, almost two decades after his Interview with the Vampire was released, Neil Jordan will premiere Byzantium at the Toronto Film Festival. The gory new film follows a vampire and her daughter – played by Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan – as they wreak havoc on a sleepy British seaside town. Moira Buffini, who wrote the screenplay for Arterton's last star turn, Tamara Drewe, has adapted her play A Vampire Story, which was originally performed by teenagers as part of the National Theatre's Connections season in 2008.

Elsewhere, Tom Hiddleston has wrapped filming Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive. “It's about a man and a woman, who are in a very committed relationship and the meat and potatoes of that relationship is their mutual love of science, music, literature, art and nature. They've known all about all of these things for many, many years because they've been alive for at least 500 years. Because they are vampires”. Another Brit actor plays a vampire then? “Yes, but a vampire for Jim Jarmusch is an entirely different thing.”

Big names help Melville's monster make a splash

Move over Gatz, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton and David Attenborough are among a host of famous faces who will read Moby-Dick from cover to cover in a major new project. Curated by Philip Hoare, award-winning writer of Leviathan, or the Whale and the artist Angela Cockayne, the Moby-Dick Big Read will consist of recordings of all 136 chapters of Herman Melville's 1851 classic online. Swinton will read the first chapter followed by Neil Tennant's rendition of Ishmael and Queequeg sharing a bed, Rick Stein on Stubb's Supper and Cumberbatch on the delights of krill. Each chapter will be accompanied by its own artwork: Anish Kapoor, Mark Wallinger and Zaha Hadid, are among the crew who have contributed whale-themed pieces. The website will launch at Plymouth Book Festival next Sunday.

Top comic's target audience will have a swinging time

Last year's Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Adam Riches has been commissioned by Radio 4 to make four half-hour shows to air in the new year. The Guns of Adam Riches will be a “live, unpredictable, fast-paced show, with plenty of character pieces and audience interaction”, I'm told. Riches famously makes unusual, occasionally humiliating demands on his audiences, challenging them to bouts of Swingball or acting classes, for example. So while those at the studio recording should look for back-row seats, at least listeners at home will be safe. Or will they?

Now anyone can own a Warhol soup can

It's life imitating art imitating life – or something. Fifty years after Andy Warhol's soup cans, Campbell Soup Co. has designed a set of tins in homage to the artist. The limited (well, 1.2 million of them) edition cans featuring quotes and four pop-art colour schemes went on sale at Target stores in America last week for $0.75. Which is considerably cheaper than the $23.8 million paid for Warhol's Big Campbell's Soup Can with Can Opener in November 2010 but around $0.13 more than a standard can of Campbell's tomato. Warhol would surely approve of the price hike.

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