Only Lovers Left Alive is not your average vampire flick; there is little bloodsucking and human hunting, and unexpectedly more art, music and nature appreciation. Set between the starkness of Detroit and Tangier and appropriately all shot at night, Jim Jarmusch’s new film is beautifully dark and moody yet punctuated with dry, deadpan comedy.
In a world inhabited by Zombies (humans) bohemian vampires Adam and Eve have been married for centuries. While Eve (Tilda Swinton) lives in Tangier, spending her days devouring books in a multitude of languages, Adam (Tom Hiddleston) spends his days boarded up in his decrepit Detroit apartment with only rare music equipment to keep him company. Depressed and reclusive, he is disillusioned by how and why humans have destroyed the beauty of the world so he sends his one link to the outside, helpful human Ian, on a mission to find him a wooden bullet. When his wife Eve (Tilda Swinton) discovers his suicidal tendencies she takes the lengthy trip from Tangier to Detroit to show him the beauty there is left to live for.
Although there is not much action throughout the film, that’s part of the beauty of it. It’s slow paced and otherworldly, focusing on bewitchingly beautiful details that perhaps as ‘zombies’ we tend to overlook. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are the perfect vampire couple; effortlessly cool and hyper sophisticated. They no longer bite humans, as it seems our blood has been contaminated due to our unhealthy lifestyle, so they rely on a ‘connection’ at the local blood bank. Lovers for centuries, the duo have rubbed shoulders with some of history’s greatest artists including Byron, Mary and Percy Shelley and Shakespeare’s rival Marlowe, who happens to be a vampire as well and still bitter about Shakespeare stealing his glory.
I can’t stop thinking about this film and am looking forward to seeing it again when it (hopefully) hits our cinemas. I loved how it is visually mesmerising and whimsical and sheds new light to some of life’s simplest scenarios. This isn’t a film everyone will enjoy, but if you appreciate Jarmusch’s quirky style and are up for a twist on the vampire genre then Only Lovers Left Alive is definitely worth a look.
Only Lovers Left Alive is set to hit New Zealand cinemas on Thursday 26th December.