Only Lovers Left Alive

by Jake Mulligan

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday August 22, 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive

We've had more than enough films about the melodrama of being a vampire. Now, with "Only Lovers Left Alive," we have one about the minutia. The movie's about Adam (the always-captivating Tom Hiddleston, here consciously evoking Jack White) and Eve (Tilda Swinton, in earth-mother all-knowing deity mode,) two creatures-of-the-night who've been dating each other for longer than any human has been alive. They recently spent some time apart, he in Michigan, she in Tangiers - they have iPhones, and a distorted vision of time, so it wasn't that bad - and the movie sees them reunite in the ruins of Detroit. Again, this one's about minutia: this isn't a relationship drama full of screaming, fighting and bloodsucking. Rather, the focus is mostly on things like how annoying it would be if you could only fly on red-eye flights, because of that pesky sun-exploding-vampire-matter thing.

There's over an hour of extra features on the recently released Blu-ray disc, so you've got plenty to dig through if the movie itself isn't enough to sate you. There's extended performance footage from one of the musical artists featured in the film, for starters, and the requisite theatrical trailer as well. Then the heavy stuff: there's nearly a half-hour of deleted scenes, some of which display excised plot and others which have excised punchlines. Most of the scenes are pretty short, but if you dig on the movie at all - and that statement accounts for a lot of people - this should be your first stop. Past that there's also a 50-minute documentary, ostensibly focused on director Jim Jarmusch ("Stranger than Paradise," "Ghost Dog," "Coffee and Cigarettes,") which mainly serves as a vessel for fly-on-the-wall behind-the-scenes footage of the film.

"Only Lovers" is indeed an exemplary Jarmusch film, full of disaffected depressives, deadpanned punchlines and esoteric cultural cues. But it's also something else, something that none of his films has really ventured toward before: it's a great date movie. His camera lingers endlessly on Adam and Eve sleeping together (literally, that is,) their bodies tangled up in one another. The narrative is constantly circumvented so that we can spend time with the two of them driving around Detroit and riffing on their favorite subjects instead. They dance, they argue, they make up. This is a great film about being in a committed relationship - the biggest plot point even revolves around how annoying it can be to deal with in-laws.

"Only Lovers Left Alive"