It’s been awhile since I’ve been completely obsessed and seduced by a film. Only Lovers Left Alive is one of those rare beauties that fuses art, poetry, romance with stellar acting and writing. Tilda Swinton is supreme, as usual, but sublimely cast as a compliment to the dark, melancholy of her lover played by Tom Hiddleston.
The film has the typical Jarmusch downtown flair of a slow story but this time mixed with a romantic. poetic side that isn’t evident in some of his early films like Stranger Than Paradise, Down by Law or Mystery Train.
The story is based on the novel by the same name written in 1964 by Dave Wallis. I’m grateful that films like these can still get funded amongst the big Hollywood, remake, glitz fest that zombieville tends to feast on.
Here’s a link to the sound track, just in case your interested. I liked the music a bit better in the film than as a stand alone piece. Music has always been important in Jim’s films, setting a tonality that works seamlessly together. The Yasmine Hamdan piece is quite haunting, especially the way its set up in the film. Jim Jarmusch is one of those rare, multi talented beings that writes, directs and makes music. His band SQURL is responsible for most of the tracks on the film:
01. Streets Of Detroit – SQÜRL
02. Funnel Of Love – SQÜRL (featuring Madeline Follin)
03. Sola Gratia (Part 1) – Jozef Van Wissem & SQÜRL
04. The Taste Of Blood – Jozef Van Wissem & SQÜRL
05. Diamond Star – SQÜRL
06. Please Feel Free To Piss In The Garden – SQÜRL
07. Spooky Action At A Distance – SQÜRL
08. Streets Of Tangier – Jozef Van Wissem & SQÜRL
09. In Templum Dei – Jozef Van Wissem (featuring Zola Jesus)
10. Sola Gratia (Part 2) – Jozef Van Wissem & SQÜRL
11. Our Hearts Condemn Us – Jozef Van Wissem
12. Hal – Yasmine Hamdan
13. Only Lovers Left Alive – Jozef Van Wissem & SQÜRL
14. This Is Your Wilderness – Jozef Van Wissem & SQÜRL
This film will not appeal to everyone because of its slow, languid pace and rather dark, goth quality. I am drawn to it because of the literacy of the characters, the rich cinematic scenes, eloquent acting, extreme wit and the reference to the human race as zombies rings so true. There is also something quite striking in a film that leaves you contemplating it for a few days.