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[Joint Review] – ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’

 

 
Overview
 

Release Date: 11th April 2014 [USA]
 
Director: Jim Jarmusch
 
Writer: Jim Jarmusch
 
Cast: Tom Hiddleston - Tilda Swinton - Mia Wasikowska - John Hurt - Anton Yelchin
 
Direction
 
 
 
 
 


 
Writing
 
 
 
 
 


 
Performance
 
 
 
 
 


 
Sound & Music
 
 
 
 
 


 
Cinematography
 
 
 
 
 


 
Editing
 
 
 
 
 


 
Visual Effects
 
 
 
 
 


 
Total Score
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/5


User Rating
11 total ratings

 


0
Posted March 13, 2014 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Becca’s Perspective:

If I were to ask, “Hey, have you seen that new vampire film?” the probability of you rolling your eyes and staking yourself in order to end the conversation are likely quite high, so overdone is the toothy subgenre of late. But director Jim Jarmusch’s latest release, Only Lovers Left Alive, offers so much more than slow-mo decapitations or sparkling underwear models – this is a vampire film that revolves around eternity; the perpetual love between two ancient beings lost in each other as time flows uninterrupted around them. One, melancholic and bitter about the shortcomings of mankind; the other, a free spirit, bohemian in her constant acclimatizing to the ever changing human race. The two find peace in each other but as the world evolves; their struggle to remain anonymous becomes ever more challenging.

Adam, a withdrawn musician with a penchant for bagged blood, has very little social interaction with anyone save for his adulating ‘friend’ and acquirer of instruments Ian, and on the other side of the globe, the love of his long life, the waiflike Eve. Adam’s disenchantment surrounding the brutality of the human race and their irresponsible destruction of both their bygone culture and their very planet leaves him forlorn to the point of suicide, his biting of the [wooden] bullet seems imminent. Sensing his despair whilst talking via video call, Eve boards the next departing night flight to console her world-weary lover of the ages. Distracted, the two spend lazy days and nights in each other’s arms, intoxicated by body and blood alike. Their tranquillity is soon disrupted, however, by the sudden arrival of Eve’s younger sister, the rebellious vampire Ava, and her reckless lifestyle. Change is inevitable, but at what cost to the three diverse predators?

With a star-studded cast including the ethereal Tilda Swinton (The Beach) as Eve, Tom Hiddleston (Thor) as Adam, and minor characters comprised of Mia Wasikowska (Stoker) as Ava, Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) as Ian, and the ever brilliant John Hurt (Alien) as ancient vamp Marlowe, this ode to love eternal eloquently shows how a vampire film doesn’t need to revolve around clashing covens or explicit gore in order to get audiences to bite. What Jarmusch presents here is an intelligent exploration of the relationship between love and vampirism. When one watches time erode away the beauty from the old world, what remains? For Adam and Eve, love and hunger insatiable and eternal.

But for all its serious underlying themes, Only Lovers Left Alive is not a solemn film. Between Adam’s numerous insults of the human race, Eve and Marlowe’s amusing anecdotes about the real origins of treasured history – one instance being Shakespeare’s plays –, and several musical performances scattered throughout the film, OLLA truly is a treat for the eyes and ears alike. Whilst some viewers may perceive the film’s story as lagging or slow, I am of the opinion that it is but a leisurely glimpse into the relationship of these two historic predators for whom, time is neither an issue nor a real threat. Instead, mankind’s pollution of everything; their world, their culture, even themselves, is the real danger and yet, Adam and Eve can’t help but be inspired and drawn to their intense creativity in their such fleeting life times. This is no horror film, but rather an exploration of love, the love romantic and the love artistic; both immune to the passing of time.


Written By:

Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 20.58.44

Becca Spackman
www.silver-screen-silver-lining.tumblr.com
Freelance Contributor

 

Matthew’s Perspective:

Now Only Lovers Left Alive takes the over used genre and takes out all the blood lust and makes it about who these people are. We have one, Tom Hiddleston, who has lived for centuries. He lives along, secluded and isolated from humans as he has grown tired of humanity. The only person he has any contact with is Anton Yelchin as a young rock star who delivers old vintage guitars to Hiddleston. Tilda Swinton plays Hiddlestons vampire wife although the two have had little contact over the years, she soon swoops back into his life to show him in a peculiar way how to live life again.

And it is just that, peculiar. The film just oozes a stylistic story telling structure with the right pace. It focuses on Hiddleston as a rock star. He makes his money by recording albums as he’s a long lived musician who’s inspired and helped numerous people along the way through his very long life. He refers to humans as zombies as that’s all he sees them as now. He has a very bleak look on reality and quite frankly it’s true. It’s very relatable. Swinton’s character is the opposite to Hiddleston, that being laid back, traveling the world and seeming to care about everything.

It’s not until Mia Wasikowska shows up as younger sister to Swinton as another vamp but the more noticeable kind. She looks but also seems younger. Her attitude towards everything is younger as if she doesn’t quite have as much experience as her opposing two. All three work hand in hand, well to give off a nice impression and lessen the blood lust evil making them simpler more humane characters to that than actual humans.

The ideas that revolve around the film and the way Jarmusch has taken to vampire lore is an interesting one. Rarely do they delve directly into what these vampires can and can’t do and for these types of films it’s one thing I enjoy thinking about. Even though we know it all Jarmusch drip feeds us little snippets of what they can and can’t do adding newer little twists to not being able to drink any old blood due to all us bad humans tainting our blood.

This is perhaps one of the most beautiful films I have seen entirely shot at night. It’s a nocturnal film and is done so well. It’s not total shrouds of darkness. The street lights give off an luminous glow and the lamps fill Hiddleston’s home as if he isn’t some dark gloomy vamp.

The film is something different. It changes the way you feel towards this type of film and has a nice character twist on the focus of humanity rather than the usual things that filter through.

Written By:

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 22.37.10

Matthew Reay
Photo&Film
@MatthewReay
Freelance Contributor


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