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Only Lovers Left Alive


Year: 2013 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Jim Jarmusch  
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska  
An image from Only Lovers Left Alive

The latest offering from the unique cinema of Jim Jarmusch takes the form of a vampire flick. Don’t go expecting these vampires to sparkle in the sunlight though, these are vampires at their most classic, gothic, and compelling.

The film follows the relationship of Adam (Hiddleston) and Eve (Swinton), two centuries-old vampires who have been married for hundreds of years. When we find them, the pair are individually living two different lives; Eve is living in Tangier, revelling in the local charms while receiving a steady supply of blood from fellow vampire Marlowe (Hurt). Adam on the other hand only revels in deep depression, developing moody rock music in his desolate home in Detroit, bored with modern society and the ‘zombies’ that occupy it. Eve decides to come and stay with Adam in the hope of giving him a new lease of life. Their relationship is compromised though with the arrival of Eve’s young sister Ava (Wasikowska).

Adam and Eve make up the two most compelling characters of recent genre cinema. Both are wondering spirits who have indulged in many years of human culture, and have come to appreciate the human race for their artistic creations. In the modern age, however, Adam in particularly has grown deeply depressed due to the laziness of humanity. In turn the film provides an intriguing meditation on the art culture of the 21st Century, and poses the question as to whether we should really compare modern works to the greats of the past.

Hiddleston and Swinton provide two utterly intoxicating performances, establishing a flawless chemistry and allowing us an easy doorway into this on-going relationship of countless years.

Jarmusch has developed a film that is both wickedly dark and delightfully humorous, arriving as a refreshing breath of fresh air in an age where vampires have lost some of their lust and passion.

Andrew Gaudion

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Screenings of this film:

2013/2014 Summer Term (digital)