Brief Consideration: Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)


Jim Jarmusch’s 2014 film- Only Lovers Left Alive reimagines the vampire tale of accursed eternal life into a meditation on the effect of art on society. Adam (Tom Hiddleston) is a creature of the night who has been a source of great inspiration for many revered historical figures throughout the centuries. His melancholia of immortality does not come from the boredom of existence, but rather the sense of inevitability stemming from the fact that most of the significant people of the past were reviled and unappreciated in their time. This sense of prolonged depression and frustration becomes a source of tension in his career as an underground electronic musician. Jarmusch elegantly parallels the plight of the vampire with that of the disgruntled a rock star who spurns their fame and worries about relevance.

However, the picture honestly comes alive in its leisurely excursions and genuine moments of discovery, courtesy of Adam’s lover and centuries-old wife- Eve (Tilda Swinton). In stark contrast to her withdrawn partner, Eve embraces life in all its strange and wondrous turns. Swinton plays the part with a measured resignation that never diminishes her enthusiasm of the moment. Glacially paced, wryly amusing and seductively directed, especially one montage in which Jarmusch equates the vampire’s blood-drinking with the feverish euphoria of a drug trip: Only Lovers Left Alive imbues the proverbial vampire myth with a contemporary edge that feels fascinating and heartfelt. 

About Sartaj Govind Singh

Notes from a distant observer: “Sartaj is a very eccentric fellow with a penchant for hats. He likes watching films and writes about them in great analytical detail. He has an MA degree in Philosophy and has been known to wear Mickey Mouse ears on his birthday.”
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