Brian Osoro's LTROI Vanderbilt Blog

For discussion of Tomas Alfredson's Film Låt den rätte komma in
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cmfireflies
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Re: Brian Osoro's LTROI Vanderbilt Blog

Post by cmfireflies » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:30 am

One can see Eli as being innocent because of her age, if for no other reason. As for regretting that she killed Jocke, I lean toward (but do not insist upon) her tears being for herself, that her curse makes her live isolated and wretched. That she restrained herself from killing Oskar could be seen as Eli still being a human child at heart.
I don't think Eli is innocent just because of her age. Children are not automatically innocent, just ask the bullies. Eli is innocent because all she wants to do is live. And it would be so easy for her to be defined by her vampirism or give up and take into the sunlight. But she doesn't, and not only does she survive, she doesn't lose herself; she never becomes deprived like the woman or the vampire lord. I would compare Eli to being like a political prisoner for decades and still retaining empathy for her jailers. It's amazing.
"When is a monster not a monster? Oh, when you love it."

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Re: Brian Osoro's LTROI Vanderbilt Blog

Post by dongregg » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:01 am

"She doesn't lose herself." Nice perspective. I haven't seen it put that way before. :think:
“For drama to deepen, we must see the loneliness of the monster and the cunning of the innocent.”

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Wolfchild
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Re: Brian Osoro's LTROI Vanderbilt Blog

Post by Wolfchild » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:36 am

cmfireflies wrote:
One can see Eli as being innocent because of her age, if for no other reason. As for regretting that she killed Jocke, I lean toward (but do not insist upon) her tears being for herself, that her curse makes her live isolated and wretched. That she restrained herself from killing Oskar could be seen as Eli still being a human child at heart.
I don't think Eli is innocent just because of her age. Children are not automatically innocent, just ask the bullies. Eli is innocent because all she wants to do is live. And it would be so easy for her to be defined by her vampirism or give up and take into the sunlight. But she doesn't, and not only does she survive, she doesn't lose herself; she never becomes deprived like the woman or the vampire lord. I would compare Eli to being like a political prisoner for decades and still retaining empathy for her jailers. It's amazing.
I think I disagree. Eli is not innocent. Eli is a monster. Eli probably is still a child at heart. After all, in every scene in the film where Eli appears and is not being monstrous, he is portrayed as a child. Whatever the essence of Eli's character, Eli is still a monster. And Eli is an outsider because he is a monster.

Oskar, too, is an outsider, but for reasons that are more prosaic, and I would say those reasons are ultimately more disturbing. Unlike Eli, Oskar is not an outsider because of any aspect of himself. Oskar is an outsider because of the attributes of the those around him. The brutality and cruelty of his peers, the indifference to his plight by the authority figures around him (save for the concern shown by by Avila), and inattention by both of his parents are what cement his outsider status.

To look at being an outsider from a different viewpoint, being an outsider means that you are being denied acceptance. That brings me to what is, for me, one of the main messages of this story: Love is all about acceptance. Both Oskar and Eli crave the acceptance that they are being denied. By the end of the story, you believe that Oskar loves Eli. Oskar is able to love Eli not because he can ignore that Eli is a monster. Oskar is able to love Eli because he accepts Eli as a monster.

Part of the genius of this story is that, despite the way it unflinchingly portrays Eli as a monster (albeit perhaps a sympathetic one), we still understand how Oskar could come to love him. We believe Oskar's acceptance. A key moment happens when, immediately after Oskar has witnessed a graphic demonstration of what Eli does, he still seals that acceptance with an awkward and incredibly sweet kiss. In order to underscore this acceptance, to make it seem incredible, to make it seem that acceptance is fiercely intertwined with love, it is essential to the story that Eli not be innocent. Eli must be as difficult to accept as he could possibly be, yet still have it be believable that anyone could love him.

It is for this reason that Oskar, too, must an outsider. There must be a reason that he looks for acceptance from Eli. The story provides this reason by showing that, as an outsider, he can find it nowhere else. Eli accepts his fantasies of violent revenge. Eli is willing to try Oskar's candy even though it makes him violently ill. Eli is the only one who reacts with concern to evidence of Oskar's bullying, and offers forthrightly to help. The novel deals more explicitly with Oskar's struggle to accept Eli and his concerns about being accepted by Eli, but that is a topic for a different forum. ;)

I believe that by making us believe that Oskar loves Eli, this story is teaching us lesson about love and acceptance. This is why I disagree that Eli is innoccent. I believe that if we love Eli, we should stop denying that he is a monster, and just accept it. :wub:
...the story derives a lot of its appeal from its sense of despair and a darkness in which the love of Eli and Oskar seems to shine with a strange and disturbing light.
-Lacenaire

Visit My LTROI fan page.

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Re: Brian Osoro's LTROI Vanderbilt Blog

Post by gattoparde59 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:28 pm

Wolfchild wrote: think I disagree. Eli is not innocent. Eli is a monster. Eli probably is still a child at heart. After all, in every scene in the film where Eli appears and is not being monstrous, he is portrayed as a child. Whatever the essence of Eli's character, Eli is still a monster. And Eli is an outsider because he is a monster.
I don't think of this as an either/or question and I think that is what Wolfchild is saying, maybe? Eli is both a monster and a human being, that is the true horror in this horror story. What a horrible thing to be a real outsider and be denied any human contact, while all the time still being a human. Otherwise why should we be concerned with Eli's fate?

Oskar suffers in the same way. The bullies are pushing Oskar beyond the pale and stripping him of his humanity. Oskar is being stripped of his humanity and turning into a monster. The first monster we see in the film is actually Oskar with his knife acting out a sadistic fantasy of revenge. The same for when Eli first meets Oskar (as Eli reminds him later). It is Eli the human/monster that sees Oskar as a human being and helps us to see the human side of Oskar.

I'll break open the story and tell you what is there. Then, like the others that have fallen out onto the sand, I will finish with it, and the wind will take it away.

Nisa

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Re: Brian Osoro's LTROI Vanderbilt Blog

Post by ltroifanatic » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:33 pm

There's no denying that Eli is a monster.The body count speaks for itself,but,he's a very reluctant one.He hates what he is and what he must do to survive.He knows what it's like to be an outsider.Unloved and pushed out of sight as being unacceptable to humanity.Eli is a monster but surprisingly still retains enough humanity to see what Oskar's going though.Eli knows he must help Oskar to fight his own monsters and does what comes naturally to him and behaves just like a monster would.We sort of expect nothing less and cheer at the end as he saves Oskar.At that moment,for me,he redeems himself.Although he's killed thousands he's managed to save just one little boy who accepts him for what he is and does, and loves him none the less.Sometimes music can say it better.Sorry if I'm not making sense but I'm very tired at the moment.This is how Eli redeems himself.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UIgJDp84OY..He may be a monster but we love him because he is. :wub:
Please Oskar.Be me for a little while.

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Re: Brian Osoro's LTROI Vanderbilt Blog

Post by dongregg » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:37 pm

By age 12, Eli would have been thoroughly indoctrinated by the Lutheran faith of his family and community. Additionally, unless he were a bad seed, he would have the usual pangs of conscience about harming or killing his fellow mortals. There is sufficient reason to believe that Eli either abhors having to kill or abhors living a life of isolation that his condition requires, although we don't know how much of the abhorrence to attribute to either cause.

Therefore, Eli is not a monster but a little boy thrust against his will (or understanding) into a life of doing monstrous things.

My formula is that being turned left his personality intact but changed every cell of his body. He is simultaneously a vampire and a young boy. Having Oskar as a playmate allowed him to be the child that he is for a few hours each night; vampiric hunger and strength just kept him alive.

Fate is kind.
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of their secret longing.

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through.
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true.

Fate intervened in the form of Oskar, and thereby hangs a tale.
“For drama to deepen, we must see the loneliness of the monster and the cunning of the innocent.”

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Re: Brian Osoro's LTROI Vanderbilt Blog

Post by ltroifanatic » Sat Sep 16, 2017 3:48 am

I so hope that Eli's dreams come true.She deserves it.After all he/she has gone through.Just a beautiful child who deserves love and acceptance.Thank goodness fate stepped in and gave her Oskar.When you wish upon a star,makes no difference who you are.
Please Oskar.Be me for a little while.

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Re: Brian Osoro's LTROI Vanderbilt Blog

Post by ltroifanatic » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:06 am

Raises an interesting question.Would Eli still believe in God?If she does then she would assume that even when she dies she'll go to hell.Poor darling.She can't escape, even in death. :think:
Please Oskar.Be me for a little while.

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Re: Brian Osoro's LTROI Vanderbilt Blog

Post by jetboy » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:20 am

ltroifanatic wrote:Raises an interesting question.Would Eli still believe in God?If she does then she would assume that even when she dies she'll go to hell.Poor darling.She can't escape, even in death. :think:
But she doesnt have to die, and because of that is already in hell and getting lower with every kill. But thats what makes meeting Oskar so special, its the only antidote. I definitely think theres religious themes in not only vampire mythology but this movie.

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Re: Brian Osoro's LTROI Vanderbilt Blog

Post by Wolfchild » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:33 am

ltroifanatic wrote:Although he's killed thousands he's managed to save just one little boy who accepts him for what he is and does, and loves him none the less. Sometimes music can say it better. Sorry if I'm not making sense but I'm very tired at the moment.
No I think you understood my point perfectly. Acceptance is the key to love, at least in this story.
ltroifanatic wrote:Raises an interesting question. Would Eli still believe in God? If she does then she would assume that even when she dies she'll go to hell. Poor darling. She can't escape, even in death. :think:
Depending upon which flavor of faith you would ascribe to her, I don't think that all would be lost. In most versions of the Christian faith, Eli would have the chance for redemption up to the last instant of her life. To once again pull out my favorite quote from Tomas:
The film suggests that love is possible and everybody has a choice and the one character that does not have a choice is the vampire [Eli] because she has to kill to survive. I would say that the brighter side of this dark story is that yes you can choose love, just turn your head, it's possible. Even in the darkest times you can still choose love.
A Christian would say that this includes God's love. If Eli was a Christian, she could harbor some hope in her heart. However, I have yet to meet a twelve year old who appears to understand faith on this level, however long they have been twelve. :roll:
...the story derives a lot of its appeal from its sense of despair and a darkness in which the love of Eli and Oskar seems to shine with a strange and disturbing light.
-Lacenaire

Visit My LTROI fan page.

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