sun 09/05/2021

DVD: Only Lovers Left Alive | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: Only Lovers Left Alive

DVD: Only Lovers Left Alive

A love story, cool vampire tale and wry comedy in one

Tilda Swinton gazes out over Tangier in Only Lovers Left Alive

Do not miss this film. I don’t say it lightly. Even on the small screen, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch's Cannes Palme d'Or nominee is a warm love story, no, a cool vampire tale, no, a wry comedy, no, all of these things in Only Lovers Left Alive. Stealing the title from David Wallis' 1964 science fiction book, this is an adaptation of Mark Twain’s satire The Diaries of Adam and Eve for the undead, and the casting couldn't be better.

Do not miss this film. I don’t say it lightly. Even on the small screen, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch's Cannes Palme d'Or nominee is a warm love story, no, a cool vampire tale, no, a wry comedy, no, all of these things in Only Lovers Left Alive. Stealing the title from David Wallis' 1964 science fiction book, this is an adaptation of Mark Twain’s satire The Diaries of Adam and Eve for the undead, and the casting couldn't be better. It's a film of mood and wit, of profundity and imagination: watching Only Lovers Left Alive will put you in a delicious mood.

Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston play wealthy, reclusive vampires (although the word is never used), ageless, lean and long-legged. She lives in Tangier, he in Detroit. He is an artist, wanting to stay unseen, questioning, being depressed about the world. She is brilliant, smart, supportive, sunny even and both are, when compared to humans – ‘zombies’ as Adam calls us – quite unflappable. The writer of Shakespeare’s works, Christopher Marlowe, appears in the perfect guise of John Hurt, while Mia Wasikowska and Anton Yelchin flesh out the roles of Eve’s sister Ava and Adam’s freelance music assistant Ian. Golden Globe winner Jeffrey Wright (Quantum of Solace) appears only twice but shows there are no small scenes: he's riveting as Dr Faust. Having directed his friend Tilda Swinton in 2005’s Broken Flowers and 2009’s The Limits of Control, Swinton takes credit for bring Yorick le Saux onboard as cinematographer (I Am Love). Yasmine Hamdan appears as the pivotal Lebanese singer.

Like a beloved vinyl record, a favourite pair of shoes or a drive down a beautiful road, this film rewards repeated viewing. Its spareness of dialogue meshes with visual richness to create a film you can watch repeatedly: I’ve watched it three times now on Blu-Ray and I’m tempted myself to get the Steelbook Verison with its beautiful cover by Grave O'Connor, in a Zavvvi exclusive ultra-limited edition. In DVD, Blu-Ray or Steelbook - with standard extras: deleted and lengthen scenes, interviews with some of the cast, trailers, music video of Yasmine Hamdan and "Travelling At Night With Jim Jarmusch" featurette - I urge you to see, uninterrupted, Only Lovers Left Alive, a mesmerising story of eternal, impossible yet believable love. This could be Jarmusch's best film yet.

Do not miss this film

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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