The perenniality of the vampire genre derives from its capacity for reinvention. Its form mimics its content in similar fashion to the zombie genre, transcending death. Here, the immortality of Jarmusch’s vampire couple is a perfect foil for retrophile hipsterism. They are aficionados of a lapsed cutting edge – analog technologies, first edition guitars, a dash of Tesla tech for colour and in the garage is a perfectly-poised-between-eras XJS Jaguar. They disdain contemporary ephemera and are content to await its fall. Only Lovers Left Alive takes its time. It may irritate some but bewitch others, who will return to bask in its sunless, bohemian langour.
Jules: Are vampire tropes a means or an end? Is the grand tradition of vampire fiction standing for nothing other than itself? Is it a debasement of said grand tradition to use vampirism as a metaphor, for themes like drug addiction, sexual obsession, metal illness, or mere aristocratic fecklessness? Or can a vampire picture possibly be nothing more than a cosy suburban story of rekindled love between senior citizens? The beautifully titled Only Lovers Left Alive ponders and enacts these and other questions to a delightful and confounding conclusion.
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