"Only Lovers Left Alive" (UK/Germany) was presented at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival in the official selection. It enjoyed a brief run in San Francisco in the spring, and was released by Netflix for DVD/BlueRay rental on Aug 19. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has added bonus features including deleted & extended scenes, a music video and special Jim Jarmusch video.
This is a clever and provocative film where Indie director Jim Jarmusch decides to go with vampires in this intriguing tale uniting the dead automobile manufacturing citadel - Detroit, with the old world of Tangiers. The vampires Adam (Tom Hiddelston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) live on opposite ends of the earth – Eve in Tangiers where she gets a quality blood supply from Kit Marlowe, Shakespeare himself, (John Hurt) and Adam in Detroit where a local researcher is his supplier. Adam also has errands done for him by Ian (Anton Yelchin), a Zombie he trusts, since all the other Zombies are after him and his ilk. Naturally, the two lovers are meant to be together, and so the film builds to their eternal bond. Meanwhile, the film’s soundtrack puts the audience into a trance with music from Jarmusch’s own acid rock band Sqürl.
Notably, Jarmusch’s latest shows an innate nostalgia not only for the 60s and 70s but all past culture, and he uses vampires as a way to channel this energy. Adam’s apartment is full of old instruments and electronic equipment from the 60s and 70s, including a Hagström guitar; Eve’s sister, Ava (Mia Wasikowska) is also into retro and watches 1970's music videos with French vampires on YouTube.
Jarmusch at the Cannes press conference explained that Detroit, one of the film 's sites, is like Paris, and that when the car industry thrived people would arrive to buy expensive cars in palatial showrooms and auditoriums. The indie director took it as a compliment that his work doesn't "seem American". His film has a little of the feel of Leos Carax’ Holy Motors (2012) to it from the official competition at Cannes in 2013, in a reverent and nostalgic study of an old city, especially by night. Although the vampire trope seems to have exhausted itself, "Only Lovers Left Alive" is a brilliant spin on immortality. It was seven years in the making, according to Jarmusch and Tilda Swinton kept an eternal flame going for the film until it was brought to production.