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.

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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.

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