Only Lovers Left Alive – Jim Jarmusch, UK/Germany, 2013, 123 minutes
I kind of dragged my heels getting around to watching Only Lovers Left Alive. Honestly, apart from the two canonical films of the tale of Nosferatu—and, OK, at least one memorable one-liner in the first Blade—I can’t remember truly enjoying a vampire film. Add to that my natural suspicion of an art-house director going “genre” in a late career phase—and natural doubt that there is any point to watching vampires that aren’t scary—and I just couldn’t get past my own skepticism. Well, the vampires are nothing to fear here, but you also need not fear that Jarmusch has fallen off—there’s enough languorous pacing, laconic wit, and fantastic music to please any Jarmusch devotee. There is also a pair of excellent performances by Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton, set against incredibly atmospheric night-time location shots, and a narrative spiked with pop-culture Easter eggs and surprise gear changes.