Culture

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Trishna, and The Moth Diaries Lead a Phalanx of Fall Film Photos Fighting for our Fealty

Quick, take cover. We've unleashed a barrage of alliterative f-bombs. But we felt it was our responsibility to attempt to convey the sudden ambush of images from hotly anticipated adaptations. After a long, dry summer spent avoiding sequels to movies based on shoddy plastic toys, we're now suddenly deluged with rich images from movies based on books, both classic ("Trishna" = Tess of the D'Urbervilles) and the kind to which we've sacrificed an entire night's sleep (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Moth Diaries).

We've curated our own assembly of the most interesting photos to come over the transom, guided tour included. Enjoy.

Girl-Dragon-Tattoo

Behold the first official still from David Fincher's English-language reboot of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." We're still not completely sold on her credibility as a bad-ass capable of putting men three times her size in the hurt locker, but there is something captivatingly creepy about her eyebrowless elfin quality. Yesterday, the film's official website went live, and it works the Scandinavian Goth angle pretty hard, with a blanket of blackness and moody shots of the actors in character. Things could get interesting now that "Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol" (directed by the brilliant Brad Bird) has moved onto GWTDT's December 21 release date. One thing's for certain: in a showdown between MI4's Ethan Hunt and Lisbeth Salander, we're certain Lisbeth will do whatever it takes to make sure she comes out on top.

Frieda Pinto as Trishna

Freida Pinto as Trishna

We defy anyone to name a more eclectic filmmaker working today than Michael Winterbottom, who manages to range freely across genres from political dramas ("A Mighty Heart"), to rock 'n' roll origin story ("24 Hour Party People"), to straight-up comedy ("The Trip"). But his virtuoso strength lies in his ability to pull off each disparate project as if he were working smack in his wheelhouse. That's why we're particularly excited about his newest adventure in cross-cultural genre-blending with "Trishna," his adaptation of  Tess of the D'Urbervilles set in contemporary India. His iteration of Thomas Hardy's classic novel follows the tragic love story between the daughter of a rickshaw driver (Freida Pinto) and the son of a real estate tycoon (Riz Ahmed). Judging by the blood-red hues linking these evocative pictures and our memories of Winterbottom's unflinching adaptation of Hardy's "Jude the Obscure," we're preparing ourselves for a Category Five storm of emotional pain.

Judging by the picture at the top of this post, the visual allusions to blood are much more literal in the flood of images that have recently emerged from the set of "The Moth Diaries." Based on Rachel Klein's debut novel told from the point of view of a sixteen-year-old-girl who comes to suspect that her boarding school classmate is a vampire, the film marks writer-director Mary Harron's first time behind the camera since "The Notorious Bettie Page." This is refreshingly new territory for Harron, who has made something of a milieu of capturing cultural moments in time as she did in "I Shot Andy Warhol" and "American Psycho." Though we long ago passed our lifetime quota of watching or reading anything to do with vampires, we're suckers for literary teenage-girl coming-of-age stories.

The Moth Diaries

The Moth Diaries

This shot suggests that Harron's film, which will debut next month at the Toronto International Film Festival, aims to capture the violence and life-or-death urgency with which teen girls imbue their obsessions. Here's hoping Harron's film will hue closer to "Heavenly Creatures" than "Twilight."