1000 Movies to Own #4: Only Lovers Left Alive

In a modern era of film making drowning in vampire stories, there are a very few standouts. Pieces of creative fiction that not only play to the genre’s longstanding tropes and symbolism, but that enhance those ideas and tell their own story with imagination. Only Lovers Left Alive is one of those films.

It’s not a movie for horror buffs or even one that’s particularly accessible, as it frames itself more as ‘slice of life’ than any meaningful narrative. However, once you accept that that Adam and Eve – played by Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton respectively – are going to be drifting through the movie as it weaves in and out of their night life, rather than trying to invest you in any single overwhelming core conflict (there are several minor ones), the whole experience becomes a beautifully relaxing neo-gothic romance.

Directed by Jim Jarmusch – of Dead Man and Down by Law fame, among others – (and adapted by Marion Bessay) the 2013 film, while carried easily by Swinton and Hiddleston, also features John Hurt & Anton Yelchin in strong supporting roles. Mia Wasikowska rounds out a cast that seems to really enjoy inhabiting the world Jarmusch has created for them. And that’s what this movie is for. It’s a film made for tone and trappings. Watching a bunch of good actors build a picture of the modern, urban vampire.

Further Watching:
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
Thirst (2009)
Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
Let the Right One In (2008)

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