Featured film /// Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)


What’s your idea of a vampire film? Actually, 9 times out of 10 viewers expect a story about an evil bloodsucker kidnapping people at night, drinking their blood to the last drop and then going to sleep in a coffin. But how about a slightly different look at vampires? Not your sloppy-implausible-Twilight sugar for teens or blood-and-gore horror, but a dark, atmospheric, gothic tale, a brutally true-to-life story where anyone could star without having to be a vampire. Director Jim Jarmusch presents exactly this kind of a story in his ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’.

Adam (Tom Hiddleston) lives in Detroit and his wife Eve (Tilda Swinton) resides in Tangier. Both are centuries old and have seen Shakespeare himself. It’s only that Eve is enjoying her eternal life and sees the good side of it, while Adam is depressed and suicidal. Following a phone conversation where she senses her husband’s mood, Eve comes to Detroit to support him. However, soon the idyl is disturbed when Eve’s younger sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska) – a well-known trouble-maker – comes for a visit to Detroit as well. What will happen when the couple’s secrecy is threatened after several reckless deeds from the youngster?

Based around the necessity to survive in the world of zombies (people that is), the film shows how difficult it is to be very different and to keep hidden what’s best kept unknown. Putting the main focus on relationship between individuals and their characters, Jarmusch makes us forget that we’re talking vampires here. They’re shown as cultured, vulnerable and susceptible to grief just as humans are. Life might even be more challenging for them as Jarmusch’s vampires are not all-mighty as some could expect them to be: they have to be extra careful not to reveal their true selves. Eternal life that is so often glorified can be a curse too which is well reflected in Adam. Being frustrated with people in particular and his life in general, he grows to see his eternity as a burden and questions his existence itself while Eve tries to make him see the opposite.

These two are like the moon and the sun, the black and the white – so different, but still complementing each other and unable to exist without each other. They simply belong together. Jim Jarmusch shows a beautiful story of love which doesn’t fade even in the severe conditions of surviving in a city – the story where the spouses are best friends and soulmates. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton’s acting is the magnetism of this film. Delicate and poetic Adam is exceedingly well portrayed by Tom, whose ability to lay his soul bare on the screen is well-known. His Adam – the lover of all things vintage and a talented musician – radiates aristocracy as he walks and is the wandering, gentle soul, a sophisticated and artistic, though wary, person. Tilda Swinton with her alien-like beauty makes a great opposite as Eve to Adam. Wise, business-like and grounded, she sometimes seems like an older sister or a mentor to Adam – the one who can guide him as well as support him. She’s charming and confident with her mind being cold even in the most unwelcoming situations. Her life energy is contagious and viewers actually find it easy to like her personality as she’s the one to lead, not to follow.

Nominated for Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ is an exquisite story of love and partnership unfolding to the breathtaking soundtrack that sets the atmosphere perfectly. Looking deep into the characters of the two vampires, Jim Jarmusch shows them very refined and human-like, which makes this film so artistic, atmospheric and thus different from a lot of vampire stuff out there.

Читать Избранное /// Выживут только любовники (2013) на русском языке

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