Jim Jarmusch's latest feature "Only Lovers Left Alive" made the film festival circuit early last year but it didn't hit theaters until just recently. Having seen all of Jarmusch's movies I've been eagerly anticipating this one and finally went and saw it yesterday. So what can I say? Did i like it?
well, there are much to like and there's also quite a lot to dislike, so here are some thoughts...
on the positive side you can tell from the get-go that it is 100% a Jarmusch film. the cinematography and production design is beautiful and it looked stunning on the big screen. in typical Jarmush fashion i like how he's basically is taking a popular genre film and completely turning it on its head (in this case the vampire film). there are some funny moments, including some "hidden" jokes in the dialouge which overall is quite sparse, and the acting worked well (nice to see John Hurt again too). last but definitely not least, I have to mention the soundtrack which is just brilliant - that's one of the best things about Jarmusch, he always chooses a specific composer for each of his films that brings the visuals to life. for "Ghost Dog" it was RZA; "Dead Man" had Neil Young; "Broken Flowers" had this fantastic African jazz-fusion artist whose name i can't remember, and for "Only Lovers Left Alive" he uses a Dutch composer named Jozef van Wissem - in fact the soundtrack to this won an award @ Cannes 2013.
on the negative side it feels that the movie drags on for too long, especially as there really is no real plot.. it could easily lose 20-30 minutes to tighten it up. we hardly get any background info on these characters, which in one way is pretty cool, but at the same time too much is confusing. just one example without spoiling too much - right in the first scene of the film, Adam (the male vampire) is giving a request to his "dealer"/"fixer" for a .38 ammo bullet to be made out of strong wood. he only needs one and later we see him loading it into his gun, yet this is never touched upon again in the movie nor is it explained.
still, if you're a Jarmusch fan i would definitely recommend it. i neither loved it or hated it, in fact i feel quite undecided on it but i have a feeling that it is a movie that will grow on you so i will definitely see it again. it's better than "Limits Of Control" and "Night On Earth", but it doesn't touch "Ghost Dog", "Dead Man", "Broken Flowers" or "Mystery Train". anyone else seen this?