Friday, May 24, 2013

Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston make a sexy, pallid double act in Jim Jarmusch's languorous new vampire comedy ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, writes Robbie Collin. (TELEGRAPH)

Dir: Jim Jarmusch; Starring: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, John Hurt, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin. 123 min.

Only Lovers Left Alive, the languorous new comedy from Jim Jarmusch, centres on two vampires in reflective mood. They are Adam and Eve – perhaps the Adam and Eve – and they are played by Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston to draculine perfection. Swinton and Hiddleston, you imagine, would require very few adjustments to convince as two members of the beautiful undead. Perhaps the make-up team sprayed on a little fake tan and left it at that.

Jarmusch's picture was the second-last to screen in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and the weary audience were right in step with its drowsy, meditative tone. When the film begins, the two lovers are on opposite sides of the globe. Adam is in a crumbling mansion on the outskirts of Detroit, a city that itself looks thoroughly bled dry; Eve resides by a souk in Tangiers.

Each has a reliable supply of fresh blood at hand: Adam from a bribable haematologist at the local hospital, and Eve from Kit Marlowe – yes, that Kit Marlowe – who, in the Jarmusch world, is also a vampire, is played by John Hurt, and wrote the complete works of Shakespeare.

Early on, Eve flies to Detroit and the couple are happily reunited. They drive around the city at night visiting points of interest to vampires – “Look, there’s Jack White’s house,” says Adam – and sup top grade Type O Negative plasma from dainty glass goblets. Afterwards they slump backwards in a spaced-out state, utterly bloody-minded.

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