The Arty Semite

Amy Heckerling on 'Vamps'

By Curt Schleier

Amy Heckerling is the auteur behind two iconic movies: “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Clueless.” She was also the director of “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” and the writer and director of “Look Who’s Talking,” among other successes.

Getty Images

Heckerling’s latest, “Vamps,” starring veteran Heckerlingers Alicia Silverstone and Wallace Shawn, is a smart comedy, not an attempt to cash in on the “Twilight” craze. In fact, don’t even think about calling the main characters vampires; they’re “extended life forms.” They go to AA-type meetings to “keep off the juice” — the juice being human blood — because “undead is not unfeeling.”

Despite a stellar cast that includes Sigourney Weaver, Richard Lewis and Justin Kirk, among others, an often hilarious and occasionally wise and insightful script, and Heckerling’s successful track record, the film is is opening only briefly in New York and Los Angeles before a DVD and Blu-ray release on November 13.

Heckerling, 58, spoke to The Arty Semite about her disappointment with the film’s limited distribution, growing up in the Bronx and how the Holocaust influenced her filmmaking.

Curt Schleier: I loved Vamps. I thought it was funny and has interesting things to say about contemporary life. I can’t understand why it’s not getting a wider platform.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Vamps, Interviews, Film, Curt Schleier, Amy Heckerling




Find us on Facebook!
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.