Sony Classics Grabs Jarmusch's Vampire Film 'Only Lovers Left Alive'
by Alex Billington
May 25, 2013
One of the very last films to premiere late in the Cannes Film Festival, wrapping up this weekend, is Jim Jarmusch's new film - Only Lovers Left Alive, starring Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt and Mia Wasikowska as long-haired hipsterish vampires living in Detroit. Not long after the film showed to a theater full of press, Sony Pictures Classics released a press release announcing their acquisition of the film for North American release. It's a smart move and fast buy, likely pre-arranged, and perfectly timed with the film's unveiling, which received quite a bit of positive buzz. It's a low-key but awkwardly funny film.
I caught Only Lovers Left Alive at it's world premiere in Cannes last night and enjoyed it, but it's rather funky and odd. Hiddleston and Swinton give minimal but impressive deadpan performances as long-haired vampires (named Adam and Eve) who seem endlessly depressed about the world because they've been alive so long. There's some great music and beautiful cinematography, which is the usual for Jarmusch. The best reviews come from my friends Raffi at The Film Stage and specifically Jordan Hoffman from Film.com, who I saw it with and enjoyed his reaction after. He totally loved it and wrote this in his excellent review:
It's the original music (by Jozef van Wissem and Squirrel, if that's a real thing) and the unending barrage of signifiers, sometimes literally unpacked before our eyes. Shakespeare, Jules Verne, Ornette Coleman, James Joyce, David Foster Wallace, William Lawes and even Jack White all get referenced at some point along the way.
"Only Lovers Left Alive" is, in my opinion, the next great midnight classic. Much like its characters, it has no business being out in the daylight. It is hazy and dreamy and if you fall asleep for a few minutes here and there that's totally fine – perhaps even preferable.
Only Lovers Left Alive, written & directed by Jim Jarmusch (Dead Man, Broken Flowers, Limits of Control) takes place against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier and follows an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, who reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover. Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their debauched idyll is soon disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister. Thorsten Schumacher, Managing Director of Hanway Films quips: "Tangier, Detroit, vampires, guitars - and now Sony Classics - what else is there to say!" Indeed. No release date has been set by SPC yet, but it's likely the film could be released later this year. Stay tuned.