Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
Cast includes: Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin), Tom Hiddleston (War Horse), Anton Yelchin (Fright Night), Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), John Hurt (V for Vendetta), Jeffrey Wright (Source Code)
Writer/Director: Jim Jarmusch (Broken Flowers, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai)
Genre: Drama | Romance | Vampire (123 minutes)
The music on the vintage record player is a mysterious fusion… part ancient, part classical and part rock n roll. Actually, you could describe Adam the same way, although here in his artful ruins of Detroit he’s been cultivating his rock n roll vibe. The mood is broken when the doorbell rings. It’s Ian… the guy who gets him things. He’s finally brought the 59 Supro that Adam wanted… and the Hagstrom and Silvertone. What a trip down memory lane… Adam remembers when he saw Eddie Cochran play one. Noticing Ian’s confused look, Adam quickly adds, “on YouTube.” Meanwhile, Eve is a vision in off white as she walks through the streets of Tangier to her middle-of-the-night rendezvous. “Hey, we have something special for you,” the men call out to her… what do they know? But Bilal knows... and he protects her secrets, as he does for Marlowe, their mutual friend. Pity they can’t tell the world that it was Marlowe who wrote all those plays credited to Shakespeare. (What a dullard!) Anyway, Marlowe’s brought the “good stuff… O-negative”… and Eve has no time to waste if she’s going to get back before dawn and savoir the nourishment.
Adam has a similar arrangement for his supply. He regularly calls on Dr. Watson in the hospital’s lab. Naturally, Watson and Ian are curious about Adam and his peculiar ways, but Adam pays them for their digression. They’re way too noisy. “It’s very bad to cross a threshold with out being invited.” Anyway, Adam is wondering if it isn’t time to kiss this world goodbye. When Eve hears his voice on the phone, she knows something’s wrong. As difficult as it is to travel, she must get herself to Detroit so she can help her lover through this. “It’s the zombies and how they treat the world,” Adam says. “We’ve been here before,” Eve reminds him. She’s much older… 3,000 vs his 500 years. Anyway, there isn’t much she hasn’t seen.
Only Lovers Left Alive probably won’t appeal to mainstream vampire fans. It’s an artistic, slow moving wallow through the world of two ancient beings, who aren’t in any hurry. They’ve been around a long time, and they could be around a lot longer. Their days are spent sleeping, and their nights aren’t high-energy events either. They’re actually rather highbrow vampires, dropping lot of names… mostly because they’ve known lots of famous people, especially in the arts and scientists. When you watch Tilda Swinton as Eve, you’ll wonder why it took so long to cast her as a vampire… she’s a natural. Writer/director Jim Jarmusch is known for making unusual movies, and this one certainly qualifies. Much of its charm is in the styling and the little throwaway lines. They play it as if they don’t care if we know what’s happening. Even though it’s not fast moving, there are names and references that might fly by too quickly to fully process. You’d think supernatural beings like vampires would have it made, but the 21st century does present some issues… including “a litany of zombie atrocities.” Eve can’t stand it when Adam goes into one of his funks. She simply won’t allow it. “I’m a survivor, Baby.” And so she is.
3 popped kernels
Vampire lovers need to help each other through trying times
Rated: R (Nudity, Sexual Content)
Audience: Young Adults & Grown-ups
Gender Style: Sensitive
Distribution: Art house
Tempo: In no hurry
Visual Style: Nicely Varnished Realism
Nutshell: Ancient vampires in modern times
Social Significance: Pure Entertainment