Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)… Vampires, again!


Only Lovers Left Alive

My rating: 6

IMDB rating: 7.6

IMDB link:

Dearest reader,

The ‘vampire genre’ (if that is what we can now call it), to me, is nothing more than the human race confirming its narcissistic, self-obsession. We are feeding on ourselves; it is the ultimate post-post-modernistic ideal of ‘everything has been done before’ and this film shows exactly that. Every single thing has been done before and therefore we are ‘feeding’ on ourselves, as they revisit the authors of the classics and classic composers and even investigate the question of ultimate authorship. But is that kind of philosophical reasoning enough to save this film from being classified with the others of its genre?

-No, I don’t think so-

Don’t get me wrong; there is something very appealing to this bohemian-type of approach to these two characters and their lifestyles that are so unsubtly linked to the ‘original’ lovers Adam and Eve. But the plot holes that has become almost characteristic of these ‘vampire-movies’ is so distracting that it just steals everything the movie is trying to build up visually.

And the visuals truly are amazing! The spaces in this film is to die for. The deserted urban space of Detroit is contrasted to the crowded, also urban but more Third World-ish, space of Tangier. Adam’s apartment is another space constantly explored in this film as the sanctuary of the “suicidal romantic”. The scenes where Adam and Eve are driving through the city at night is absolutely beautiful, the use of shadows and occasional light really makes this a treat for the eye.

You cannot talk about this movie and not mention the first scene. As the record turns on the turntable, Adam and Eve are shown, turning as the record does, circularly. Circles can have several different, good and bad connotations, but I think that in the spirit of this movie it again signals the monotonousness of life and also the circular nature of their relationship.

Although this film is set to investigate the self-destruction of humankind and to place emphasise on our inability to self-inspect, the effectiveness of this was lost by the bizarre, slow-moving, inexplicably confusing plot. I, for example, have no idea why Mia Wasikowska was in this film. You could have left her character out completely and the film would still have made (I think even more) sense. There are also a few questions still left unanswered: for example I still do not know why they did not live in the same city, just as I am not sure who the two of them are in terms of history (if they were really Adam and Eve, why does she tell him that he missed the inquisitions, etc.?)

As with the visuals, the music in this film is amazing. It climaxes with this Lebanese girl singing, what can only be called a chillingly beautiful song, in one of the last scenes. I would definitely recommend just listening to the soundtrack if you are not up to the movie.

All in all, I think that I am just merely disappointed, because I think that they could have done a whole lot more with this bohemian, literature- and music-loving, vampires that comments on the human condition.

Want to read more on this film, try these:

“Only Lovers Left Alive” is style in search of a conflict.

Culture is Dead, Long Live the Vampire.

Only Lovers Left Alive Review.

Film of the Week: Only Lovers Left Alive.

Only Lovers Left Alive.


One thought on “Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)… Vampires, again!

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