Set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangiers, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover. Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their debauched idyll is soon disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister. Can these wise but fragile outsiders continue to survive as the modern world collapses around them?Written by
Eve (Tilda Swinton) books a flight for Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and her under the names "Daisy Buchanan" and "Stephen Dedalus", main characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" and James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", respectively. Stephen Dedalus also appeared as the sidekick in Joyce's "Ulysses". In Joyce's final novel "Finnegans Wake", there is a famous recurring poem with the line "riverrun past Eve and Adam".
Adam also has a Danish passport with the name "Lokke (the Danish form of "Loki") Odinson", a nod to his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. See more »
Dr. Watson makes a comment about the stethoscope around Adam's neck. The ear pieces are hanging on Adam's left side. In the shot in the hallway, the stethoscope is now hanging with the ear pieces on his right side. See more »
I just feel like all the sand is at the bottom of the hour glass or something.
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ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE pulls no punches with its audience; it expects us to take note of the literary references peppering the script, to figures old and new, making us away of the transhistoricity of the love-affair between Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton). In a world becoming increasingly disheveled and uninhabitable - the shots of a desolate Detroit are especially affecting - their love remains the only constant. However director Jim Jarmusch suggests that they need an outside transfusion of perfect blood to keep their affair going, something that can only be provided through a few sources, notably through Christopher Marlowe (John Hurt), who lives in a dark, dingy café in Tangier (another place deliberately chosen by director Jarmusch as the symbol of a place where trade and/or exchange has historically always occurred). When the blood runs out, so Adam and Eve have to resort to more direct methods of sustaining themselves. The ambiances evoked through this film are memorable; the zombie culture populated by Adam and Ava (Mia Wasikowska), the labyrinthine streets of Tangier, where sellers on every corner offer "something special" - which is not special enough for Adam and Eve. Within this ambiance the love-story is strangely haunting: we care for the two protagonists and their future, even though we are aware that their affair has continues for centuries. The film doesn't necessarily offer an optimistic conclusion, but at least it suggests that Adam and Eve will continue stay alive, at whatever cost.
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