Only Lovers Left Alive Screen 29 articles

Only Lovers Left Alive

2013

Only Lovers Left Alive Poster
  • It’s not as if Jarmusch is bound to make any kind of self-critique here at all, however much one might wish to read Only Lovers as a portrait of the artist as aged hipster based solely on its scenario—but as the film is never truly witty, moving, stylistically distinguished or conceptually thought-through, one is left seeking out whatever other interpretive avenues might be left them.

  • It’s sad that The Limits of Control bad reception send Jamursch back to such a safe material (more depressing but predictable: that a dud like this would be welcome as a return to form). Some bits hee brings to mind Heckerling’s Vamps, a much more moving (and funny) experience, but most of the time Jamursch seems satisfied on replaying favorite bits and playing into his weakest strengths...

  • The energy picks up for roughly a quarter-hour, when the ever-terrific Mia Wasikowska shows up as Eve's selfish, shallow younger sister Ava. As she plays havoc with Adam's temper and guitar collection alike, Ava's presence fleetingly suggests this story may offer a broader view of vampire society, with its curious generational contrasts (relative to vampire years, of course) and varying degrees of human integration. But she departs all too quickly, and the air... goes out of the film...

  • If this movie were made by someone other than Jarmusch — a college freshman, for thought experiment’s sake — would thudding references like “Dr. Caligari” be acceptable? Anton Yelchin nails his raspy-voiced rocker lifer, and there’s droll life on the fringes throughout, but this gets near Andy Rooney terrain.

  • Jarmusch's film looks beautiful and has a groovy nighttime air to it, especially when Adam and Eve drive about the ruins of Detroit at night in Adam's white Jaguar XJS. These scenes could be the hippest travelogue moments ever committed to screen. But 'Only Lovers Left Alive' drags its feet and shows serious signs of anaemia as a story.

  • Although slow moving at times, Jarmusch’s moody reflection on human progress over time is delightfully distanced from the scores of vampire films that have appeared in recent years. With Only Lovers Left Alive he explores the value of life and of art, reminding us of the latter’s ability to transcend the life of the creator.

  • The power, the delight, and the pitfall of “Only Lovers Left Alive” is its creation of a grand artistic mythology in which Jarmusch himself assumes his place. The script is so clever that it nearly puts over a sensibility that seems petrified in nostalgia and closed in among its personal archives.

  • As is so often the case in Jarmusch's films, simply spending time in the company of his creations is engrossing enough to sustain a feature. There's a decadence of sound and image here, too, that's well worth poring over, particularly when it comes to any one of the several standalone musical sequences.

  • This move from the minimalist character pieces of his early career to the more expressionist touches of his current period has precipitated a greater, perhaps subconscious, attention to the more intangible traits of Jarmusch's aesthetic on the part of the viewer. I get the feeling Jarmusch is concerned less with metaphor than he is with simply reflecting a universally unconscious state of existence among all creatures, living or non.

  • This movie hooks you with its druggy, buzzy late-night vibe rather than with its story: It’s about Hiddleston in a vintage muscle car (help, please – it’s something strange that I couldn’t identify) rolling through the abandoned streets of the Motor City, and Swinton as a pallid ghost drifting through the alleyways of the Arab souk while men hiss at her, “I have what you need.”

  • Like the culture they fed on for centuries, simultaneously “holy” and grandiose but also parasitic and bent, Adam and Eve are glamorous and useless characters, wallowing in their own hip irrelevance. But there is an elegance to them that is undeniable, rendered all the more palpable by Jarmusch’s look: aloof, passionately detached and antiquatedly youthful.

  • One of the things Jarmusch achieves so remarkably in OLLA is the creation of a palpable sense of time, not in the usual avant-garde mode of meditative stasis but instead as a kind of hypnotic, humming longeur. Adam and Eve are in a kind of opium den of intellection; they are the last stand of swoony aestheticism in an age governed by use value. In this respect, Jarmusch is providing a loving portrait of his ideal audience.

  • Unlike most other vampire movies, with their focus on sex and violence, Only Lovers Left Alive is about elemental processes: deep time, the longue durée (the film opens with stars and galaxies billions of light years away), and the dubious privilege of mapping biology onto the coordinates of physics.

  • Second viewing not nearly as rapturous an experience—the first half, which previously struck me (when I didn't know where the film was headed) as a sustained paean to sheer beauty, this time revealed more of the arrogant crankiness that others had perceived. On the other hand, I was less bothered this time by the arrival of Wasikowska's flibbertigibbet, who's only onscreen for about 20 minutes and doesn't really introduce a plot so much as create a reason for Adam and Eve to head to Tangier.

  • Unlike similar films (e.g. Vamps) it doesn't hinge on interaction with the world of humans, but the effort to avoid it (even more than most Jarmusch films, it could've been called "The Limits of Control") - which is why the resolution is so romantic, the lovers seeing themselves in younger lovers and finally, reluctantly, edging out of their bubble.

  • Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive, a vampire film suffused with hipster detritus and vinyl-era tech, worked for me like Ghost Dog did, as a mood to groove on. (The movie is also a welcome return to humor after Jarmusch's painfully pretentious The Limits of Control.) But no one told me how sexy it was—not most of the first responders out of Cannes, who failed to mention the swoon that happens with every blood sip, the camera reclining with the actors as they fall to their pillows.

  • Hipsterism as an undead state is an easy joke, butOnly Lovers Left Alive plays to Jarmusch’s strengths as a director of rhythms, of odd, narcotizing vibes. Starting with the image of a starry night sky slowly spiraling into the shape of a vinyl record, it has the senses-tickling mix of elegance and grunge of a Jean Eustache film.

  • In a film that manages both to celebrate and satirize so many of Jarmusch’s past sources of security—his impeccable taste, the captivating personalities of his actors, and his own stylish persona—it’s the relationship between Hiddleston and Swinton's long-suffering lovers that comes through unscathed. For all its left-field revelations and tonal ambiguities, the biggest surprise of Jarmusch’s film is that it ends up being exactly what it promises to be: a love story.

  • Jarmusch, the aging ambassador of cool who made Dead Man andThe Limits Of Control, is known for draining genre scenarios of action and incident. But he’s crafted something truly special this time out: a funny, deeply romantic hangout movie that treats art not just as a reason to live, but also as a rejuvenating force in a relationship.

  • Only Lovers Left Alive by Jim Jarmusch is a sublime celebration of art and artists which zeroes in on the concept of culture as a human necessity... A wistful romantic comedy in which a pair of vampires wax Brechtian about the good times. Often it feels truly affirmative and joyous, such as the when the pair laze about listening to old Southern soul platters, sucking on blood popsicles and rhubarbing about a time when fresh corpses clogged up the River Thames.

  • Jarmusch has written his best script since Dead Man (95), its bone-dry wit, neither camp nor twee, a tender, mordant expression of love. Visually, the movie is anything but dry; the sensuous, tactile, deep-night cinematography by Yorick Le Saux (this is Jarmusch’s first digital film and darkness is what digital does best) with its long twisty tracking shots, overhead 360-degree revolves, and car-window views of Detroit, glowing phosphorescent through the blackness, is spellbinding.

  • Only Lovers Left Alive is Jarmusch’s foray into self-reflexive authorship in the tradition of Cervantes, fittingly preceded by The Limits of Control, a quixotic fantasia on the Iberian Peninsula. Given the ultimately candid political commentary at the heart of Limits, and the romance of Lovers, this could be the most personal stretch in Jarmusch’s career since the 1980s.

  • Jarmusch has created a requiem for a way of looking at life that is being increasingly relegated to the shadows. Yet it’s the kind of dirge that, perversely and profoundly, sends you back out into a volatile world with a glad-to-be-alive high.

  • The whole film swirls just like that music: 45s spin on turntables, the stars revolve in the heavens, the camera floats over Swinton as she spins like a stoned dervish. It makes for one of the most enjoyable and artful pieces of cinematic dandyism in the Jarmusch catalog, and for all its poised flipness, one of the saddest and most serious.

  • I consider it the best film that Jarmusch has ever made... It’s romantic, and not devoid of a certain crucial negativity (there’s a reason that vampires only go out at night). But it pulls back from the extremity of youthful romanticism, as Adam’s morbidity is tempered by Eve’s pragmatism as a survivor.

  • This is easily Jarmusch's bleakest film since Dead Man (1996), and it's no less obsessed by atrocities carried out in the name of industrial progress (in this case, worldwide ecological devastation). Yet it's also one of his most visually expressive films, playing out amid ravishing nocturnal imagery that fits perfectly with the dark romantic tone.

  • "Only Lovers Left Alive" is Top 5 Jim Jarmusch for sure; a long, warm bath in sensuality, with flashes of Wong-Kar Wai amid the ennui. In its deliberate slowness, it also ends up feeling like a requiem for 20th century film storytelling, and for the pre-digital world.

  • Like all Jarmusch films, Only Lovers Left Alive is very funny, with numerous allusive puns and terrific exchanges that follow from the indulgence of urges... the charms of Jim Jarmusch's funny, sexy, and elegiac vampire movie speak for themselves.

  • The film is a study in shared melancholy, of facing forever, and whether holding hands while it happens makes it any less intolerable. Jarmusch ultimately finds creativity, the product of human imagination, to be reason enough to face any indignation and hardship. And furthermore, that sharing the delight one finds listening to the perfect song, or watching a perfect movie such as this, is the most rapturous pleasure life can offer. Reason to live as many lifetimes as one is handed.

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