Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2013 by Russ Fischer
Nothing made me happier today than to hear enthusiastic responses to Jim Jarmusch‘s rock and roll vampire film, Only Lovers Left Alive. The film stars Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as vampires who have spent centuries together. We’ve got some clips, images and more info here, but frankly I want to know as little about further details as possible, at least until there’s a chance to see the film in the US.
That chance might not be far off, as the reception at Cannes was capped off by Sony Pictures Classics’ purchase of the US distribution rights. The company didn’t offer precise release info, but knowing it has a home is a good start. After the break, you can check out the SPC press release, and some reviewer reactions to the movie.
Jarmusch movies are often quite funny, if not in the style of a typical comedy. That humor seems to be key to the success of Lovers, as The Playlist notes “it’s the deadpan jokes and references that really lift proceedings, especially as delivered, often drily, by Tilda Swinton, who’s probably as good at being funny as she is at everything else, but is so rarely given the chance.”
Other reactions, even among the enthusiastic, peg the movie as something for the midnight crowd. Variety calls it “sweet but slight,” “essentially a light comedy of social mores set among a bunch of bohemians whose drug of choice just happens to be human blood, rather than cocaine or heroin.” The most telling bit from the trade may be that “it still feels like an in-joke intended only for select acolytes, who will probably love it with an undying passion.”
Film.com was far more enthusiastic, proclaiming it “an exhibit A example of how to use style to enhance substance, not overwhelm it,” and “the next great midnight classic…hazy and dreamy.”
Twitter offered more quick reactions:
Jim Jarmusch's vampire comedy (!) Only Lovers Left Alive is lean & literate deadpan fun. Hiddleston/Swinton are a dream team. #Cannes2013
— Robbie Collin (@robbiereviews) May 24, 2013
ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE is Jarmusch at his most deadpan & shaggy. Midnight classic. Loved it to pieces. #cannes2013
— Jordan Hoffman (@jhoffman) May 24, 2013
Only Lovers Left Alive (Jarmusch): 77. For close to an hour this was shaping up to be one of my favorite films ever. A bit heartbreaking.
— Mike D'Angelo (@gemko) May 24, 2013
After Mia W. shows up it just becomes a fun series of riffs. But long 1st movement is Woody's list of reasons to live as a vampire movie.
— Mike D'Angelo (@gemko) May 24, 2013
Surprised to find Jarmusch's ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE is a charming deadpan comedy that resurrects the spirit of his '80s movies. #cannes2013
— erickohn (@erickohn) May 24, 2013
Only Lovers Left Alive – Dysfunctional vampires with long hair & iPhones go from Detroit to Tangier. Awkward laughs, history lessons abound.
— Alex Billington (@firstshowing) May 24, 2013
Here’s the press release:
NEW YORK (May 24, 2013) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American rights to Jim Jarmusch’s ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, which will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival tomorrow in the In Competition section. The film was produced by Jeremy Thomas of Recorded Picture Company and Reinhard Brundig of Pandora Film. Christos Konstantakopoulos of Fairilo House served as executive producer.
Starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Anton Yelchin and Jeffrey Wright, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE 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.
“It would take a stake through the heart to keep Barker, Bernard and Leiner away from a good movie,” stated Producer JeremyThomas.
“Tangier, Detroit, vampires, guitars – and now Sony Classics – what else is there to say!” added Thorsten Schumacher, Managing Director of Hanway Films.
“ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE is one of the great Jarmusch pictures and American audiences will love it. We are excited to be back with Jim and our great friends Jeremy Thomas and Tilda Swinton, whose performance along with the rest of the cast is fantastic,” said Sony Pictures Classics.