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TIFF 2013 Review: Only Lovers Left Alive


Only Lovers Left Alive
Special Presentation

It’s a perfect, evocative title for a film that is most fascinating and especially innovative, if for no other reason than the endless charm of the two leads. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton, two particularly exotic and striking actors, are vampires, fittingly. They are lovers too, despite being in different hemisphere initially, and it does seem as if they are alone in the world.

Maybe not entirely alone, but they do seem to grasp what is important in the world they inhabit. They’ve lived for centuries, married for some time, and made many friends with famed artists and inventors. Sensing her husband Adam is melancholic, Eve (right?) flies from Tangier to Detroit, only at night, to visit his isolated retreat. It is a darkened, cluttered apartment on an empty lot in a city that is barren, traversed by the two during nighttime jaunts.

It’s a quiet, atmospheric meditation on human emptiness and misery, as for all the progress in science, technology, and culture, humans (referred to as ‘zombies’) are slowing destroying everything and everyone. Eve’s younger sister is the vampiric equivalent of careless, annoying youth. Ava (Mia Wasikowska) pops in from Los Angeles, drinks their storage of blood, and creates chaos for a couple comfortable in peace and solitude.

Adam and Eve roam the streets and lie in bed in a film that says more by doing less. It’s subtly familiar and funny, especially strange, and filled with historical allusions and vampire lore that makes for thoughtful and giddy fun.

Thursday September 5 – Ryerson Theatre – 9:00 PM
Saturday September 7 – The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema – 12:15 PM

[star v=4]

Anthony Marcusa

A pop-culture consumer, Anthony seeks out what is important in entertainment and mocks what is not. Inspired by history, Anthony writes with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be affected.