Amor Aeturnus

Britt Huddart

We’ve seen modern vampires in television and movies do a lot of things: murder, sparkle, play piano, attend high school, run businesses, run for mayor, et cetera. Despite the variety, it’s a challenge to keep a single subject interesting. However, Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive (213) is more than the typical anguish and fangs. It’s a well-written and visually stunning film that bit to the core (so to speak) of my sensitive romantic self. The movie centers on a wed and undead vampire couple: Adam (Tom Hiddleton) and Eve (Tilda Swinton.) The story begins with Eve, who senses her husband’s off mood and flies from her home in Tangier to his decrepit mansion in Detroit. Adam is so depressed with the human world of consumerism, ignorance, and environmental destruction he doesn’t want to “live” in it anymore. Eve discovers a gun and wooden bullet under the bed. She demands of him, “ can you live for so long and still not get it?” The beautiful sets, props, and costumes of the film infatuated me, but I fell in love with the critique of our own culture and passionate themes. Jarmusch’s hyper-sensitive vampires thrive on the most important things in life for most creatures: love, nature, and creativity. (The scene in which vampire Tilda Swinton holds polite conversation with a mushroom will steal your heart.) Eve reminds Adam, (and the audience,) that the time we spend on earth is precious and best “lived” with gentle curiosity.

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