11 January, 2015
Only lovers left alive [DVD] / a film by Jim Jarmusch [Anita, Blockhouse Bay]
Yet another take on the vampire genre, but don't expect lots of action and blood, this is not a thriller or a horror. In this is a languidly paced movie, vampires, Adam and Eve have been lovers for centuries. Both are cultured intellectuals with an all-embracing passion for music, literature and science, who have evolved to a level where they no longer kill for sustenance.
Adam is a reclusive underground musician hiding out in the ruins of contemporary Detroit. He despairs about human civilization’s decline, and worries about future survival. Eve, who is much older than Adam’s 500, takes a longer view of history and is more optimistic. She leaves her home in the ancient city of Tangier to come to his side. Adam and Eve’s precarious footing is further threatened by the uninvited arrival of Eve’s carefree and uncontrollable little sister Ava. Unlike Adam and Eve, Ava hasn’t yet learned to tame her wilder instincts, and her recklessness concerns Adam.
This is a movie for pop culture enthusiasts. It is a vampire film that takes advantage of its time span; cultural references dating back hundreds of years can be found at every corner. Jarmusch explores the quiet every day life of a modern, intelligent and ancient being who has, quite literally, seen it all. The casting of Hiddleston and Swinton is spot-on, they emanate a particular sort of cool only they seem privy to, accentuating their alienation, (you also get to see Tom Hiddleston with his shirt off!). The emphasis is not on action but interaction—especially the verbal kind. Jarmusch understands that what's really relatable about vampires is the getting-old part: the sense that as you get older, everyone younger than you is somehow stupid, crass, immature, and just not at all like you.
I really enjoyed this movie, as did my daughter, (the guys in our household seemed indifferent). We also loved the soundtrack which had two distinct sounds depending on whether the setting was Detroit or Tangiers. I would describe it as a bit laid back and trippy with some grungy guitar, it perfectly matched the tone of the movie. Also available at Auckland Libraries: Only lovers left alive [compact disc] / Jozef Van Wissem/Squrl. (although I went out and bought my own copy!)
Title: Only lovers left alive
Author: a film by Jim Jarmusch
Publisher: Madman Entertainment