CinemAN Film Review: Only Lovers Left Alive by Jim Jarmusch

After the screening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City.

What would you do if you had all the time in the world?

Jim Jarmusch’s latest film Only Lovers Left Alive might throw you an idea or two.

The story of a pair of vampires performed by Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, is even better than you can imagine. At least ages-old and having been married for an undefined period of time, the two lovers live apart and meet in present day Detroit in the time of immortality crisis. They sleep during the day and buy blood from doctors and lab technicians, drinking it from fancy shot glasses. They complement each other in their perfect extra-long-term relationship.

The film represents the new Jarmusch. His old hacks are still there with unusual and slightly tilted shots, edgy humor, hypnotizing soundtrack, slow pace and lack of action. He is not a people pleaser, so he still likes his pauses long, although slightly more dynamic. He doesn’t provide all the answers, but doesn’t leave you wondering either, because some things simply don’t matter.

Still loyal to his style, Jarmusch shows his own evolution as a storyteller. He goes for a deeper meaning. His vampires don’t sleep in coffins or glare in sunlight, their existence is much more meaningful. They have lived the eternity and knew how to make the best out of it: learning languages, reading books, making friends with Byron and Wilde, playing chess with Mary Shelley and traveling. They collect experiences, historical events, outdated technology and antique musical instruments. They are wise and occasionally violent spectators of life on our planet. Their names say it all – Adam and Eve.

Only Lovers Left Alive might be the most philosophically charged and romantic film Jarmusch has ever made and it might be his best. The evolved Jarmusch is wiser and more sentimental, but don’t you worry, he is still the same old weirdo, who makes us happy.

Watch it for your taste’s sake


Watch it / At your own risk / Do not watch it

When: Whenever.

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