Newness: Only Lovers Left Alive

I’m gonna be frank, what I expected was not what I got. That’s not to suggest that what I got was bad, because I did enjoy this film, and most importantly it didn’t leave me angry, which is an unusal turnaround of events.

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Based on anger not being the dominant emotion, and based on the fact that this is kind of a horror movie (theres blood, death and fangs, so just go with it), I thought sure, lets discuss this. You do have to bear in mind that it is Jim Jarmusch, so it might drag a bit, and theres likely to be a lot of introspective monologues, vampires or no vampires. I was sort of right….

 

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The story; Adam and Eve have been married for centuries (you slay me with your references Jim). Adam, an old school goth from the Mary Shelly era, has opted to live apart from his wife, in a bohemian mansion in Detroit that’s falling apart, whilst Eve resides in Tangiers Morocco. They still “face time” on a regular basis (they’re up to date, despite being dead, again hilarious), and regardless of their separation they are clearly very much in love. I guess they’ve just realised that being married for hundreds of years requires a bit of distance. Just ask Tim Burton.

So Adam’s going through an existential crisis, and so his wife flys out to comfort him in his time of need. Some stuff happens in Detroit regarding Eve’s sister, (which I won’t go into as to not ruin the film for anyone who does wanna go and see it), which basically prompts them to travel back to Morocco, where the film ends with a not so shocking conclusion.

Stuff kind of happens in his film, but it’s never really the point, What is the focus is the atmosphere.

What took away was a beautifully shot love story with a endless amount of scenes that national geographic would go NUTS for. It was gorgeous, haunting and gorgeous. Not a whole lot happens but still… gorgeous.

Oh and it does have a awesome soundtrack.
If you like Jarmusch in general, you will find this incredible to sit through. Like a visual drug it sucks you into a dreamy nightmarish world that you can’t help but be, against your will, absorbed into. Much like the herione-y blood induced ecstasy Adam and Eve experience, I too had an unexplainable high which left me in a weird melancholy mood. Damn you Jarmusch, damn you and your visual voodoo.

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So I guess despite all the (shit) deadpan literary and cultural references, and barrage of overwhelmingly annoying in- jokes, (which critics apparently found hysterical), I continued watching. I don’t personally know how I got through Adam’s long winded rants about how much he hates life, but I did, and I guess I enjoyed it.

In many ways the undead Adam and Eve are a brilliant representation of a modern, somewhat bohemian, middle class couple. The type that studied development at SOAS and spent a gap year in India. Possibly got some tribal tattoos whilst in Tibet in the style of Jolie.

Both highly educated, they have an impressive line up of dead friends. Unlike Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Lestat, these guys pick their blood like organic meat at a farmers market. The scene with Dr Faust (hilarious Jim, hilarious) picking up his O negative from the hospital is actually pretty amusing. He literally has a doctor dealer to ensure his stuff is pure, locally sourced with no chemicals or parabens.

Eve is presented as the more “cochella” of the two.With her long white hair and Moroccan kaftans, she’s the perfect yin to Adams emo yang, the light to his dark, the milk to his tea…and so forth. She thinks he should lighten up and enjoy life rather than wallowing in self-pity all the time, and gently reminds him that he missed all ‘the good stuff’ like the plague and the medieval era, thus hinting that his feelings of melancholia are basically first world angst ridden, hipster problems.

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The high brow literary references did not leave me in stitches sadly, and soon turn into constant, tedious name-dropping. It’s a tactic which doesn’t add much to the film, other than heighten our awareness of the fact that we’re dealing with creatures who are more refined then say, Blade, which makes them both perhaps a bit more terrifying. At one point we even see Adam’s ‘Homie Hall of Fame’, which include all his famous dead pals such as Billie Holiday, Buster Keaton, Franz Kafka and Oscar Wilde.

Adam and Eve certainly act as exceptional metaphors for modern society; a refined intelligent pair of monsters, who although have found more humane and ethical ways to find their food, are still essentially monsters. By the way Jim no one judged you on your last movie, so if this is catharsis, it’s totes unnecessary. Like, it wasn’t even that bad.

Jim himself began his filmmaking career in an area not so dissimilar to the urban landscape of detroit, (the lower east of New York during the late 1970’s). Jarmusch was also a musician, a fact which underpins most of his films (which all have amazing and eclectic soundtracks). Is Jarmusch criticising modern times under the guise of Adam? Is he done with the human race?

Who knows.

Watch it whilst stoned. You’ll love it I promise

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