I sit here in my darkened room listening to the soundtrack recording of the film that I’m just about to write about. I not sure whether it’s the hypnotic vibes from this collaboration by SQURL and the Dutch lute player Jozef van Wissem or perhaps it was the fact that ‘breakfast’ was not delivered today but I can’t get Jim Jarmusch latest movie out of my head?
A darkly comic tale of a long-term relationship between husband and wife is the main theme of Only Lovers Left Alive (2013). The average marriage today is said to be only 7 years (barely worth the expense!) so very few marriages last for hundreds of years, with the exception of the aptly named Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) a vampire couple whose relationship could conceivably last for ever if they can continue to obtain a supply of good quality blood. Adam lives in the run down backwaters of Detroit while Eve lives in the romantic confines of Tangiers.
Similar to Thomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In (2008) this is not a tale about vampires but a love story between two people who happen to be vampires albeit with heightened perceptions from having lived for such a long period of time. A character study that Jarmusch claimed is a metaphor for the decline of 21st century America. Note the bankrupt and run down city of Detroit and compare it to the vibrant and mystical Moroccan city of Tangiers.
The biosphere of our two lovers varies. Whereas Eve accepts the present with her mobile phone and modern cultural attitude, Adam seems to be stuck in the culture of the 1960’s and 70’s producing his music on vintage equipment, collecting guitars from that period and driving a vintage Jaguar. He dislikes what he calls ‘zombies’; his only human friend is Ian (Anton Yelchin) who, along with the musical instruments and recording equipment, provides him with a wooden bullet! His only other contact with the zombie world is Doctor Watson who works in a hospital and who provides the clean blood that guarantees Adams survival. Eve, who has come back to join her lover in America, has previously got her ‘supply’ from the English Elizabethan dramatist and poet Christopher Marlowe (John Hurt), the man who allegedly influenced William Shakespeare and died at the age of 29 in 1593, little do the historians know? She also has a younger sister Ava (Mia Waslkowska) whose actions are not appreciated by Adam.
The Taste of Blood is playing again and I’m feeling a little faint……….