New Moon vampires take bite out of Rome film fest

Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:17pm EDT
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By Silvia Aloisi

ROME (Reuters) - The vampires of "New Moon," the sequel to the popular teen movie "Twilight," hit the blood-red carpet at the Rome film festival on Thursday, with fans getting a 20-minute preview of the picture before next month's release.

Three young actors playing the mean blood suckers of the Volturi coven and the film's screenwriter were in Rome to promote the saga, part of a successful franchise which is drawing comparisons with the Harry Potter phenomenon.

In "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," teenager Bella Swan and her vampire love Edward Cullen, played by Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, separate because he fears he is putting her in danger.

While she befriends a werewolf, Edward retreats to Italy, where he meets the Volturi -- the powerful law enforcers of the vampire world.

Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg said the fascination of young people -- particularly teenage girls -- with the Twilight films, based on the best-selling romance novels by Stephenie Meyer, came from the fact that they "speak to universal themes and experiences of heartbreak and first love.

"Everyone has gone through it or is going through it ... I think also this very chaste sexuality, it is very passionate but safe. So it's very tantalizing," she told Reuters in an interview.

"I think Harry Potter is much more fantastical. The Twilight series has its fantastic elements very grounded in reality, it's set in reality, so they are very different."

The first Twilight movie was a smash hit that grossed $383 million worldwide. "New Moon" is more emotional, has more action and gives greater space to the more violent, dark side of the vampire world -- like the Volturi clan.   Continued...

<p>Actors Charlie Bewley (L), Jamie Campbell Bower and Cameron Bright (R) pose during a photo call before a preview of clips from "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" at the Rome film festival October 22, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Helgren</p>