Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) by Jim Jarmusch
It’s quite the romantic angle that Jim Jarmusch’s taken on the vampire myth. A story about love and survival. Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) have lived and loved each other for a very long time. Centuries, really. They’re very old, very sophisticated, quite blasé — they’re the image of cool. A pair of aesthetes (snobs too, definitely) who like all things old and refined, such as instruments made of ancient wood, or vintage clothes that can be dated back to the Renaissance. What I love about them — especially Eve — is this aura of the Ancient that they project, a wisdom & weariness that comes from having lived for centuries. It’s taken them great energy to survive (and this gracefully) for so long, and it shows — they look exhausted (without Eve, I’m pretty sure Adam would have given up long ago).
Adam and Eve may be a pair of romantic snobs but they’re also pretty funny. The film is a strange one — the visual tone is dark but the mood is always kept light, and there’s never any sense of danger or drama. The plot is really thin too, but that’s fine, Swinton and Hiddleston make such a delightful pair to watch.
- Mia Wasikowska plays Eve’s wild little sister who comes on the scene to wreak havoc. She’s fun.
- The gloves thing is stupid. Jarmusch says they wanted to come up with their own bit of made-up Vampire lore, and thought the gloves gimmick would look cool… Meh.
- From Tangiers to Detroit: what a weird and inspired locations combo.
- “It just goes to show, we don’t know shit about fungi.” — Adam. This has to be my absolute favourite line in the movie (with Adam’s deadpan delivery).
- Cool soundtrack throughout — music often takes centre stage. One of the musical highlights is a live performance by Lebanese singer Yasmine Hamdan. Beautiful song called “Hal”.
For interesting bits about the film (e.g. Jarmusch on having to shoot digital), check out this Q&A with Jim Jarmusch & Tilda Swinton @ NYFF => HERE
[Seen on Friday 6 Dec 2013 @ ICA, London / Little White Lies mystery film screening]