Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive (Britain, Germany, 2014)

Nine Things About the Movie Only Lovers Left Alive

1. This movie was written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. When you see Jarmusch's name on a film, you know right away that nothing will ever happen in it.

2. This movie is about two vampires that wander around, drive around, stare at things, talk, and do nothing. Random things slowly happen. And then the movie ends.

3. It's almost worth watching just to see the performances of Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, the two ancient emo hipster vampires that are trying not to get bored with life. Or death, whatever.

4. Hiddleston plays Adam, a semi-suicidal musician who hates humans, so he lives in Detroit and releases music anonymously. Swinton plays Eve, who lives in Tangier, and finds joy in reading books and dancing. Together, they apparently knew every famous artistic person in Western history.

5. There is a weird little subplot about the Christopher Marlowe/William Shakespeare conspiracy.

6. There's also a weird recurring conversation about quantum theory, as well as Nikola Tesla. This just shows how embarrassingly little Jarmusch knows about science.

7. Visually, the movie is lush and sumptuous; it showcases the beauty of decay and the decay of beauty. Sonically, the movie is also luxuriously grungy. The soundtrack is a perfect match for the visual style.

8. Jarmusch almost seems to be making a point about humanity's self-destructive nature, or maybe the inevitable disintegration of everything. But Jarmusch fans don't need to worry; he stops himself from actually saying anything deep.

9. Jarmusch movies always have a tone that is more important than things like plot or character development. If you can get into that groove, then his movies are enjoyable. But you can't appreciate his vibe, then his movies swing from boring to annoying. This is possibly Jarmusch's best film - or his least annoying one, depending on your perspective.