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Great tunes, vampires, sumptuous retro-chic design, and a drive past Jack White's house. What more could you ask for?
I guess a plot, but there's not particularly one of those. Someone on Rotten Tomatoes called this "Before Sunset with vampires," which is probably fairly reasonable, though Only Lovers is a little more moody and way less talky. Like Sunset, though, the film somehow ends up pushing you all the way into a pleasant, comfy sort of existential angst before you even notice it's trying anything.
The appeals to theme are cheerfully blatant; Hiddleston's tortured-artist type hates the "zombies" around him and the way they're pushing the world to the brink of extinction, and the film has no particular doubt that while he might be wrong in some specifics, he's certainly right about the general tragedy of human stupidity. But the words barely matter. It's mostly the striking musical sequences, such as that of our two immortal protagonists driving through the emptiness of the Detroit night-time, that really hit home. There's something about the setup that puts us so firmly in the mindset of our protagonists that we can't help see through their (immortal, centuries-old) eyes, and our whole world is fascinating and strange in that context. And so while the film's impossibly slow, it never feels listless.
This one probably won't win Jarmusch any new fans, although it's more accessible than most of his. It's as offbeat as ever, and proudly so, and a credit to independent American cinema in its dedicated strangeness.
If you know Jarmusch, this is a good bet; if you don't, this is a good introduction. Just don't expect…hmm. Don't expect much to happen, I guess.
Good review of a great film. I watched this at the New Zealand film festival last year and loved it. Watched it again only a few months ago.
Definitely for fans of JJ, his fingerprints are all over even if the premise is something pretty different for him. Love the look, the performance, music and mood which is what he's all about. He has a very signature atmosphere and the setting and subject matter totally feed into that, laid back, laconic, brooding.
I'd say it would make my top five of his but perhaps not the top three. Still, its a great addition to the man's oeuvre.
Also, if you dug the music, he and Jozef Van Wissem released an album called "The Mystery of Heaven" which contains a lot of the music Tom Hiddleston plays in the film. Moody a?s walls of guitars!
I usually find Jim Jarmusch's movies... warm. For whatever reason. No much happens, yet there is emotion. I find the same effect in Takeshi Kitano's movies.
I like most of Jarmusch's movies. Especially "Night on Earth".
"Limits of Control" was a horrible movie. I hoped he would bounce back with this. Sadly I couldn't get through this. Turned it off after about an hour in. I will try to get back to it soon... but I'm in no hurry. I will make an effort to finish it. Sadly I'm not very optimistic about the movie as I didn't like the first hour.