Sunday, March 2, 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Loki is a brooding vampire musician. If that doesn't grab your interest, I don't know what will. 

Finally, after a long time, here's a vampire movie as how it should really be. Or how I really wanted it to be. Alluring, without the sparkles & excess of emo eyeliner. Just a bunch of vampires who practically have seen it all - some jaded, some YOLO-ing, some just absorbing what simple pleasures life has to offer. 

Written & Directed by:  Jim Jarmusch
Starring:  Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt
Cinematography by:  Yorick Le Saux
Editing by:  Alfonso Goncalves
Music by:  Jozef van Wissem, Squrl
Running Time:  122 mins
Budget:  $7 million

I really don't know what it is about OLLA that works for me, maybe it's the beautiful cinematography, or the amazing music, or the way Jarmusch plays with his camera, maybe it's everything. But the main draw for me, is of course the ever so enigmatic Tilda Swinton (Eve), and the soulful Tom Hiddleston (Adam) that I have gotten used to seeing as the mischievous trickster, Loki, in Marvel's Thor. At first glance, it's a bit head-scratching to see these two together as a romantic couple, but hey it works! 

There's a lot of spinning and everything seems to move in slow motion - if you're into that kind of stuff, then this is a gold mine! I was wondering what's all that spinning symbolizes - maybe it represents life, you know, it goes on and on for Adam & Eve - but maybe Jarmusch just likes to make his audience dizzy. lol. I liked it.

Nothing really happens in Only Lovers Left Alive, but I just couldn't look away. There's something hypnotic in this movie, that despite the lack of plot it still was a satisfying experience for me. Maybe because being a vampire has always been a fantasy of mine, add in my love for books, music, art and whatnot - this film represents everything I've always imagined how I will be if I ever become a vampire! *girlish squeal*

One thing that actually gave me goosebumps and made me scream inside and say "I want to be Eve!" is when I saw all her books! My god.

That fact alone convinced me to put this movie in my personal favorites list. I mean look at this pic and tell me that wouldn't give your inner bookworm chills, c'mon.

Just about everything in this movie is appealing to me, despite the fact that they don't live as luxuriously as I would have preferred, maybe like Catherine Deneuve & David Bowie's classy vamps in The Hunger (that's another vampire movie I would recommend) - the photos of authors in their walls, all the musical instruments used, all the music played, all the books read & mentioned, and that Shakespeare part was so funny, it tickled that unrealistic fantasy button inside me and made me imagine, "what if? sigh." It's so delicious.

Sure, nothing really happens as I've said. Halfway through, I wondered if something's ever gonna happen. Like what's the point of this movie? What it does is give you a realistic approach to how vampire movies should be handled (at least, at times). To dig deeper, peel away the superficiality of the recent trend this genre has teetered (and on to the brink of falling into a giant blackhole caused by some phenomenon called Twilight), and tackle the idea of how it is to be immortal - to have lived for so long, to have seen & done everything, and to have lived with human beings for centuries. How would you handle immortality?

This is a film about vampires, but it's not a vampire movie as you may expect. This is a peek into the the everyday lives of two almost-omniscient beings, so different, so Yin & Yang (emphasized by the use of dark/light color & lighting) yet has managed to spend eternity together. We see a closer look how they deal with love, their addiction, and the humans they call zombies. This is not action-packed, nor is it really plot-driven. It's like watching an episode of Big Brother: Vampire Edition (But of course, comparing this to a reality tv show is not fair). Others may think it's lacking because of that. But to me, it has so much more, it spoke to me so loudly even when the characters are just whispering. It spoke of life, and it showed us how Adam & Eve treat/live it so differently.

This is not a perfect movie, nor is it the best among its genre. But it is interesting. It is enticing. It's humorous and it is mysterious. What makes it so watchable is the cast. And John Hurt is so huggable. haha.

How can you have lived for so long and still not get it?
This self-obsession is a waste of living.
It could be spent on surviving things, appreciating nature,
nurturing kindness and friendship, and dancing!

My Rating: 4/5 - OLLA is not for everybody, and I can't guarantee you will love this film as I have. But if you have an intense fascination for vampires who drown themselves in books & music, then give this one a try.

Oh and I shouldn't be using OLLA though, since it's also a Swedish slang word that means "to rub/touch something with the tip of your penis as a prank."  Oh how lovely. O_O

YOUR POINT OF VIEW: What's the best vampire movie you have seen?

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  1. Great review. Only this film, I miss to close the director's filmography.

    1. thank you Patryk! :) This is the first Jarmusch film I've seen, and I'm looking forward to seeing more ^_^

  2. Nice job ! I felt this movie through your words alone and very well arranged descriptiions of all mentioned !



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