Monday, February 16, 2015

Why Only Lovers Left Alive is now my favorite vampire film.

Only Lovers Left Alive A movie by Jim Jarmusch.  After watching the film once, it has now taken place as my favorite vampire film. Sorry Near Dark, but you couldn't compete with Tom Hiddleston.

Yes, the appeal of having Tom Hiddleston playing a vampire was the reason I wanted to see the film. Plus, Jim Jarmusch's movies appeal to me, no matter what genre.

A few moments into the film, it became clear, this was not going to be a typical vampire film. When people ask me about the film, I say it's a slice of life type and the main characters happen to be a married vampire couple that don't live together. If you took the word vampire out of that sentence, it would be boring.

The film sets the atmosphere quickly. You are still in the real world, but you are taken into the vampire's perspective of it. What helps with the atmosphere is the ruins of Detroit. But in the film, the urban decay takes on a beauty of its own. Many of the scenes are the couple driving through Detroit looking over ruins of an former industrial giant. Again, that sounds boring, but in this film those become some of the most endearing scenes.

So many vampire films deal with the moral dilemma of being a vampire.  ie. should they kill and does that make them monsters? The film side steps that for a long time. Humans have polluted their own blood. They cannot just take anyone for a meal. Most of their blood is collected for them by medical staff. But that doesn't mean they have stopped being vampires.

A younger, annoying vampire, shows up and disrupts their quiet life together.  And she does kill someone. But their response is more of two people that are tired of her drama, and too tired to make a scene about it.

And there is the music. The soundtrack is enough to keep you watching.

I did like the new twist on the vampires. Humans that were around them, had no clue, unless the vampire had told them, what they were. The vampires struck you as slightly odd, but not menacing. They are the quiet people that sit in the back of the bar, watching everyone, and quietly talking to themselves.

The humor is dry. The observations the main characters make about us "zombies" could be heavy handed, but they are not. Overall a nice refreshing film.

Do I still like my monstrous vampires? Yes, but it is nice to see how they would be when they are not thinking about only hunting humans."

by Mari Miniatt

No comments:

Post a Comment