Before I rewatched Interview with the Vampire, I thought that it was going to pass the Bechdel Test. After all, it's a movie that I've seen several times before. I could picture a couple of scenes, which would probably make the grade.
It not only failed miserably, but it was painful to watch the lengths to which the director went to ensure that was the case.
The Bechdel Test requires that two named female characters have a conversation, which can't be about a male character. That shouldn't have been a problem. I knew where this movie would pass.
The major scenes which I had in mind was the whole sequence with Madeleine (Domiziana Giordano) and Claudia (Kirsten Dunst). I watched as their meeting occurred in silence. The conversation was implied, as the camera took a long angle out of earshot.
I watched further as they outlined their plans with Louis. But they merely took it in turns to talk to Louis. It was a powerful, beautiful scene, in which no word was actually exchanged between the two female characters.
Yet there was more to come. I rested easily, knowing that they'd be alone together during a very climactic scene. It was another failure! At one point, Claudia yells Madeleine's name, but the woman responds only with a look and expansive body language. If non-verbal communication could win the day, then this one had it hands down. But it can't. The Bechdel Test requires conversation. Even in extremity, they couldn't manage that.
There were two more near misses earlier in the movie. At one time, a seamstress cuts herself, but only Claudia actually speaks and the seamstress isn't named.
Later on, a female traveler encounters Claudia sitting alone on a bench. There's plenty of dialogue, but it's all one-sided. The unnamed woman speaks, but Claudia only utters the single word 'mama'. It's not a conversation.
Director Neil Jordan seemed determined for Interview with the Vampire to fail the Bechdel Test, even if the actual scenes were rendered unnatural by ensuring it.