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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE

by D.E.Levine

A NYFF51 Selection

In 123 minutes writer/director Jim Jarmusch creates a future world with two of the most extraordinary vampires you could ever hope to meet.  In this romance drama we catch a glimpse of what happens to society in the future, when vampirism is fairly normal.

Adapted from the 1964 Dave Wallis novel of the same name, we meet Adam and Eve, two beautiful people,  married and devoted to each other who have been around for centuries.  They are vampires living in a future world and they are unique and gifted.

Adam (Tom Hiddleston) is a bonafide rock star.  He's not only a beautiful person but he's a really gifted musician with a collection of remarkable musical instruments and original musical compositions.  Adam has definite issues adjusting to the modern world and modern technology and suffers from depression which manifests itself by his being very reclusive.. The only person he sees regularly is Ian (Anton Yelchin), a fellow who supplies him with beautiful musical instruments.  Adam lives in Motor City Detroit with his vast collection of instruments, in a large crowded apartment filled with collections of records, instruments, sheet music, antique furniture and vintage clothing.

Eve (Tilda Swinton) is his beautiful and ethereal looking wife who resides in Tangier and unlike Adam, is flourishing in the modern world..  While in Tangiers she has sources, such as Marlowe (John Hurt),  also a vampire here, who supply her with excellent quality blood whenever she needs it.

This is an unusual film, as are most of Jarmusch's films.  The photography is dark and or muted because Adam and Eve live in a dark world, sleeping days and venturing out at night.  They avoid bright lights and crowds and despite having been together for centuries, they appear devoted to each other and are never bored or boring,  Swinton looks amazingly beautiful here, her pale skin and hair lending themselves to the appearance of a beautiful

The film has garnered a following and was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year.. It a remarkable story with stellar performances.

Why was it filmed in Detroit and Tangiers?  According to Jarmusch, those are his favorite cities and when he had to decide where to film he decided to film in his favorite places.  They also did some filming in Hamburg and Cologne, Germany.

Originally supposed to start filming in 2010 when Michael Fassbender was slated to play Adam,  Jarmusch had problems getting funding until he qualified for Michigan film incentives and funding from the German NRW Filmstitung.  Filming began in 2012, by which time Fassbender was unavailable and was replaced by Hiddleston.

In the end it all worked out for the best.  This is a film that can be viewed solely for enjoyment.  It does make some interesting statements about our society and the people who inhabit it, but entertainment is really what this film offers.