Film Friday: Only Lovers Left Alive

CP58948 OnlyLovers.pdf.pdf

Only Lovers Left Alive, Jim Jarmusch, 2012. Advertising poster.

I was in my twenties when I fell in love with Jim Jarmusch. In the beginning it was Stranger Than Paradise (1984), but we traveled Down By Law (1986), and on to Mystery Train (1989) until that final Night on Earth (1991).

Like many youthful romances, it didn’t last; I grew tired of the road (1), we drifted apart and before long completely lost touch.

I tried to reconnect over Coffee and Cigarettes (2003), but it just didn’t work. I was resigned to reliving my memories of that early magic on borrowed DVDs.

Then in 2013, I saw a glimmer of hope. Another chance. This time the attraction wasn’t really my former auteur-crush, but his new film’s stars; Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston and John Hurt. Based on past experience, I’d pay to watch them watching paint dry.

And that is how Only Lovers Left Alive comes to be on my list of great, watch-again-and-again-and-never-get-bored movies.

Have I mentioned that it’s a vampire movie? No? Well that surprised me too. According to my usual “will I enjoy this film” checklist, if any of the actors are sporting overly long canines, the answer is probably “no.” If the aforementioned canines are bloodied, it’s a resounding “thanks, but no thanks.”

Let’s just say, I’m rewriting the checklist.

Only Lovers Left Alive IS a vampire movie, but it’s also so much more. It’s a really tender love story, a (very dark) comedy, a celebration of art and creativity, and a cautionary tale for our sickening world. It’s packed full of musical and literary references (spoiler alert: Christopher Marlowe DID write the works of Shakespeare — and he was a vampire), haunting cinematography, and a luscious soundtrack.

I hadn’t really expected there to be much chemistry between Swinton and Hiddleston (playing a couple married for over 500 years), but somehow it works. I’d probably have suggested he get a haircut, but that’s quibbling.

Here’s the trailer, and if you haven’t seen this quirky gem — add it to your lockdown list.

Oh, and as for me and Jim. I wasn’t crazy about his next film Paterson. I haven’t seen his  latest, The Dead Don’t Die, but it’s a “zombie comedy.” Not really my favourite genre, but I loved Shaun of the Dead, so who knows.



About Film Friday

Sarah at Art Expedition, and Darren, The Arty Plantsman have initiated this great new blogging project. You can find out more and see their chosen films for the week by visiting the latest post by Darren and Sarah.









13 thoughts on “Film Friday: Only Lovers Left Alive

  1. Interesting. I liked Paterson! And you didn’t mention Dead Man – my favorite and my entry into the world of Jim Jarmusch. But this I’ve never heard of and it’s making my head swim. A vampire movie with these two leads? I’m in – thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I haven’t seen Dead Man. The mid-90s to mid 2000s were a low point in movie-going for me — work and motherhood got in the way. I tried to like Paterson, but I was watching it on TV and it just didn’t engage me. Too many distractions maybe?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks wonderful Su, and I am amazed it passed me by. John Hurt was always great in whatever he did!
    Funny about Hiddleston’s long hair because he looks the spitting image of Gary Oldman’s Dracula from the Coppola adaptation!
    I must track this one down 😍

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Finally a film I’ve also seen – and that I absolutely LOVE!!! 😄 (I knew we had to meet somewhere down our lists of favourites 😉)
    I sooo adore Tilda Swindon, she’s just absolutely gorgeous, and an amazing actress on top! Well, and Tom Hiddleston isn’t bad either😉 (love his Loki in the Thor movies but doubt you’ve seen those, or have you?). And even if those two weren’t the two lead figures in this film I would have watched it because I love the title! And for me vampires are always a bonus (and who ever doubted that Christopher Marlow was of course a vampire? 😉). Such a wonderful film and I’d love to re watch it right now! Thank you for presenting it to us, Su! 👿😉💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do tend to have obscure taste in movies, don’t I?
      Totally agree about Tilda Swindon.i first saw her in Sally Potter’s Orlando, and was blown away. I suspect that film will turn up in my Film Friday’s one day soon.
      I haven’t seen the Thor movies — I barely go to the cinema these days. Partly it’s because while T was travelling so much he saw lots of new releases on planes and most of my other movie-watching friends have even more obscure tastes than me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wouldn’t call it obscure, but rather refined and accomplished. I admit to of being guilty watching all kind of films just because I like the actors! (Like with Thor) 😂
        Have you ever seen Snowpiercer? It’s also with John Hurt and Tilda Swindon – she’s terrifying there! It’s a terribly good film, though also quite terrible at times so I don’t think I’ll watch it again. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve seen bit of Snowpiercer. It was on TV and I remember being interrupted a few times, so my memory of it is vague. I do remember feeling very uneasy about it — which probably means it was really well done.
          I confess I prefer “lighter” films and books now than I used to. I think I’m looking for escape rather than to be terrified.

          I also choose films based on the cast quite often. Not so much a single actor, but if there are enough actors I think are “good” I’ll assume the film is too. Doesn’t always work out of course 😂

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s