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The wisdom of crocodiles
AKA: Die Weisheit der Krokodile

GB 1998, color, 98 Min.
Director Po-Chih Leong
Producer David Lascelles, Carolyn Choa
Photography Oliver Curtis
Music John Lunn, Orlando Gough
Screenplay Paul Hoffman
Jude Law Steven Griscz
Elina Löwenstein Anne Levels
Timothy Spall Inspector Healey
Kerry Fox Maria Vaughn
Jack Davenport Detective 'Roche

Steven Grlscz (that's really his name!) is a great-looking young medical researcher living in todays London. As polite and educated as he might be, the Yuppie appears somehow strange, which might be due to his dark secret: he is a vampire. But not a vampire of the Dracula kind. Crucifixes, garlic or daylight cannot do him any harm, but on the other hand he does need blood to survive. And to make his life still more difficult it needs to be the blood of women who love him. The more, the better, as Steven extracts the feelings from this special liquid. Without them he would be condemned to die. The tragic thing is, that he has to kill his victims.

When unexplainable cases of death in his surroundings start to accumulate Steven catches the attention of inspector Healey who is extremely suspicious but on the other hand totally fascinated by this strange young man, which leads to quite top-heavy philosophical dialogues between the two of them.

Then "crocodile" Steven (the title is derived from a quotation of the great philosopher Francis Bacon saying that crocodiles cry for their victims before devouring them), meets the constructional engineer Anna Levels, who is of equal birth concerning strength and willpower (and beauty). And he really deeply loves her. One of them will have to kill the other to survive...

In this case we really do not want to tell you the end, as we would like to strongly recommend you watching this not quite well-known movie which is indeed one of the most interesting adaptations of the vampire theme of the past years.

For his 15th movie director Po-Chih-Leong, who is known as one of the initiators of the modern Hong Kong movie, used the stylistic means of European intellectual cinema in a fantastic way. The movie is fit out overwhelmingly and put forward esthetically. The pictures are brilliant and not coined by the typical dark gothic optic. The leads, Jude Law and Elina Löwenson, who could be seen some years earlier as vampire herself in Almereydas "Nadja" as tragic couple are fantastic. Above all the movie is one thing, which is beautiful to see.

Those who are now reminded of Tony Scott's "The Hunger" from 1982 are not that wrong. Here tragic big-city vampires and the theme real love are also the most important aspects, but here it's rather the pictures than the story that stay in your mind.

O.K., "the Wisdom of Crocodiles" has some tedious passages in its middle part: the already above mentioned philosophical dialogues and a completely senseless appearance of a brainless street gang the vampire is allowed to butcher and which was probably meant to bring some speed into the story. But nevertheless, "the Wisdom of crocodiles" is a modern, fascinating and above all beautiful vampire movie - with some minor flaws, but without clichés and with great actors. Watch it!


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