Trent Film Society presents: Only Lovers Left Alive


Everyone’s favourite capitalist holiday is approaching. I’ll give you a hint: it’s not Christmas.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year TFS is screening two films about love, both of which are absolutely free! (Take that capitalism!)

The first film is Jim Jarmusch’s stylish vampire drama Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), screening on Wednesday, February 4 at 8pm at Market Hall, followed by Ira Sachs’ tender story Love is Strange (2014), screening the following Wednesday, February 11, also at 8pm, but alternatively at Artspace.

Despite the plethora of onscreen vampires these days, Jarmusch’s recent love story about two blood-obsessed lovers feels fresh and relevant. This is not just because of social media-use and the modern settings, but more so because there have not been many (if any at all) romance films involving vampires that focus almost solely on the mundane beauty of two people spending time together as we see in Only Lovers Left Alive.

The curiously named protagonists, Adam and Eve (played by Tom Hiddleston and Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton) are each settled in different parts of the world: Adam in Detroit, Michigan, and Eve in Tangier, Morocco. The two communicate via Skype, although Adam is too rebellious to use a smartphone or laptop, and opts for his own creative method of analog technology. The two undead lovers ultimately cannot stand being apart any longer and Eve leaves for Detroit the following night.

Adam and Eve are both sensible and civilized vampires. They do not deal with annoying drama nor get into trouble with the law. Rather, they live almost entirely in seclusion, and do not kill humans (zombies as they refer to them) when hungry; Adam has connections with a doctor who sneaks him vials of the finest quality blood for a hefty sum.

Only Lovers Left Alive, like other Jarmusch films, is arguably more focused on style over substance. In Western filmmaking, with all the bloated and stuffy plotlines of Hollywood cinema, style over substance can actually be a good thing. This is not to say that the movie is lacking in substance. Jarmusch is focused on capturing the intimacy of Adam and Eve’s relationship which is amplified by the amount of time they spend alone together in Adam’s secluded pad.

The pace of the film is noticeably slow and handled with care, much to the benefit of displaying Adam and Eve’s intimate relationship. The two indulge in one another’s presence, and, like any great vampire story, by enjoying blood in various forms; the most noticeably cool yet humourous one has them sucking on O-Negative popsicles.

Only Lovers Left Alive offers its viewers a slick portrayal of two no-nonsense vampiric lovers who share a common goal: loving one another unconditionally. The film is greatly enhanced by an entrancing soundtrack, which helps set the sensual, relaxed tone of Adam and Eve’s love.

Please join us for a FREE screening of Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive on Wednesday, February 4 at Market Hall (140 Charlotte Street). The show begins at 8pm. Everyone is welcome!