A Sustainable Life. Make Magick.

CinePhile: Review of Only Lovers Left Alive



Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive is the tale of Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton). Two vampires, centuries old, on a mini break in their relationship of about 5 years. The film opens with the most delicious music, a record spinning and our two lovers in their respective abodes in a moment of ecstasy it seems.

Eve surrounded by books, a voracious reader seems completely at ease with herself and the world, she has seen it all before. She spends her time reading and visits with her darling friend Christopher Marlowe (AKA William Shakespear played by John Hurt) at the local cafe. Obviously all of humanity’s greatest artists are vampires. Adam makes music underground and has no interest in any rise to notoriety, his existence is solitary, save Ian (Anton Yelchin), his devoted “zombie” (human), Ian procures his every obscure desire from Gibson guitars of the 20th century to wooden bullets, no questions asked.

Eve of Tangiers calls Adam of Detroit from her iPhone while Adam, an analog kind of guy, receives the call on his corded phone. When she wants to see him, he puts his phone into some a DIY rigged up converter to see his lovers face on his mid 20th-century tube television. I am instantly won.

Adam is not doing well and Eve, sensing this travels to Detroit to reunite with her love. You get the sense that this has all happened before. Reunited the lovers are languid, lustful and a delightful to watch. The complexity of a diseased world and how that affects the feeding of our two heroes is brilliant. Safe feeding is serious business. Zenful Eve is the Ying to,  cranky ‘old man,’ Adam’s Yang. A visit from Eve’s wild-child little sister Ava (Mia Waskiowska) from L.A. – and Adam’s late night visits to the local hospital’s hematology lab tech (Jeffrey Wright) provide much comic delight. Somehow the lover’s find themselves back in Tangiers for unbeknownst to them, something perhaps, new.

Thank you for bringing the Vampire, not to mention Lovers back to adult fare Jim. Jarmusch. Lush and witty and deeply romantic is this film of a mature adult relationship. It is a tale of two lovers at a crossroads and the languid moments getting there. Sigh, I must see it again.

Oh did I forget to mention that I actually saw the film at an Academy screening at the LA County Museum which incuded discussion between Tilda Swinton and Henry Rollins in Mr. Jarmusch’s absence. Anton Yelchin joined them on stage. Henry was delightfully awkward, Tilda absolutely brilliant and Mr. Yelchin sweet and basking in her glory. I swooned the entire time. Did I mention how delicious it all was?




Author: sweetvanessaleigh

I am Vanessa Leigh, maker, writer and witchy goddess in training.

2 thoughts on “CinePhile: Review of Only Lovers Left Alive

  1. I’ve been wanting to see this, but I just haven’t had the time over the summer. Now that my son is in preschool I may have a chance.

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