Only Lovers Left Alive (R)
Drama 123 April 11, 2014
Jarmusch's vampires care about beautiful things -- silk dressing gowns, string quartets -- and about how they were made. They live among stacks of books. They stay in love for a very long time. And though they may be youngsters on the outside, inside they feel 300 or more, witnesses to an ever-marching parade of culture that sometimes seems to have left them behind. If any of that sounds self-pitying, that's part of the point: The old ways have to scooch over for the new, and Jarmusch, who was making eccentric indies before "indies" were even a thing, has enough of a sense of humor to admit that isn't always bad.
What Adam really yearns for, though, is his vampire wife, who lives in a hideaway in Tangier: Eve (Tilda Swinton) is lovely here, a moonbeam of common sense. She senses that Adam is mopier than usual, and arranges a series of night flights so she can get to him, packing only books -- just the necessities, really. Their reunion is perfect; the film is the director's most emotionally direct since Dead Man, and maybe his finest, period.