Only Lovers Left Alive

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(2013) ★★

Sky Movies Greats: Tuesday 23 June, 11.55pm

By what criterion Only Lovers Left Alive qualifies as a ‘great’ movie only Sky schedulers know. One thing’s for sure – since it’s a vampire love story by Cannes film festival favourite Jim Jarmusch, it’s a vampire movie like Ghost Dog is a mafia movie. The vampires, dark and doomy Tom Hiddleston and bright-white-light Tilda Swinton, are called Adam and Eve. They’ve been in love for centuries. Adam wants a wooden bullet, just the one, for ‘a secret art project’. Eve’s as icy white as Narnia’s Snow Queen but twice as listless. She looks like a porcelain figurine with the fathomless black eyes of a shark. Her reckless sister Mia Wasikowska threatens this doleful Detroit tryst, such as it is. It’s all about the ennui, carefully calibrated to be a bit ‘off’, like the cluttered décor and mildly amusing doctors’ names: Faust, Watson, Strangelove… The scenes in Tangier look less cramped than those in Detroit but, overall, it could’ve been filmed on a Pinewood studio backlot. The music (by Jarmusch’s band Sqürl) is about as threatening as Iron Butterfly. Not In-a-Gadda-da-Vidda, obviously, all their other stuff. Unlike Johnny Depp’s Dark Shadows, it’s not much fun. The effect here is not so much hypnotic as narcoleptic.

Certificate: 15
Duration: 123min

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