Only Lovers Left Alive

“No movie [at Cannes] has sent me out into the full-mooned night, all senses elated, on as glad-to-be-alive a high.” — Keith Uhlich, Time Out, New York

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Year: 2013
Country: France, Germany, Greece, UK
Running time: 123 mins
Censor Rating: M - offensive language
Genres: Love stories

Screenplay: Jim Jarmusch
Producers: Jeremy Thomas, Reinhard Brundig
Photography: Yorick Le Saux
Editor: Affonso Gonçalves
Production designer: Marco Bittner Rosser
Costume designer: Bina Daigeler
Music: Jozef Van Wissem, Sqürl
DCP

With: Tom Hiddleston (Adam), Tilda Swinton (Eve), Mia Wasikowska (Ava), John Hurt (Marlowe), Anton Yelchin (Ian), Jeffrey Wright (Dr Watson), Slimane Dazi (Bilal), Carter Logan (Scott)

Festivals: Cannes (In Competition) 2013

Currently separated, Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) have been together since the beginning of time. Their exhaustive knowledge of the past is matched by an uncanny familiarity with upcoming events (‘Have the water wars started?’ ‘No, they’re still all about oil’). Exquisitely refined souls, they have had a hand in creating many works of art commonly attributed to others – Franz Schubert and Jack White, for example. We hardly need mention that they are denizens of the night, subsisting on the purest human blood. We close the Festival with NZIFF veteran Jim Jarmusch’s impossibly cool foray into vampirism, direct from Cannes.

“Jarmusch delivers a passionate and consummately chic essay on science, music, time and above all love. His most poetic film since Dead Man, Only Lovers Left Alive is also funny and playful, with Tilda Swinton delivering one-liners with vintage aplomb and Tom Hiddleston playing her world-weary amour to surprisingly lovable effect. [It is] impeccably crafted in every respect – from the sublimely atmospheric visuals to Jarmusch’s characteristically bespoke musical choices…

Swinton, felinely mischievous, and Hiddleston, suavely Byronic as her straight man, are not only very funny but relishably tender, making the notion of eternal undying (or undead) love a considerably more sophisticated proposition than in the Twilight series… Science, literature, music history and even botany all play their part in a script that combines occasionally goofy wit (‘You drank Ian!’) with a melancholy harping on mortality and humanity’s capacity to mess the globe up.” — Jonathan Romney, Screendaily