TIFF 2013 – Only Lovers Left Alive

Originally written: SEPTEMBER 7, 2013

“Only Lovers Left Alive” is a 2013 internationally co-produced vampire film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, and starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright, Slimane Dazi, and John Hurt.

 

I arrived to the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema around 10:40am (the movie time was 12:15pm). I intended to arrive earlier, but I underestimated the distance. For some reason I thought it is an intersection with Yonge. Go me.

I got into the rush line. It was pretty short compared to the lines for The Fifth Estate and 12 Years A Slave. It was pretty quiet. Maybe because it was raining quite a bit.

At 12pm the line was not moving. And nobody was telling us how many people are ahead or how many tickets there might be. Compared to other screenings I went to, the volunteers here were few and not very talkative. Maybe it was the rain.

At 12:10pm the line moved a bit. Then a bit. It was moving very slowly. At 12:20pm somebody said that the movie had started (which doesn’t make sense because they wouldn’t be keeping people in the line then). Then 5 minutes later somebody said that they were going to start shortly.

There were few people ahead of me, when we heard that they would let 5 more people inside (they were letting in people in fives) and that was it.

I was lucky to be that 5th person in the line.

I got inside the theater when the movie was on already, but barely missed anything. I think they let in another 5 people after me, because I saw more people coming in later. But it was definitely not the whole rush line (compared to two other galas). And this was not even a premiere! I think there were about 30 people ahead of me in the line. So I estimate that there were about 40 rush tickets sold.

But I can only guess, since nobody told us how many people were in the line.

The movie was a visual and musical delight. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton played vampires, a married couple, Adam and Eve. They were beautiful in their Yin/Yang harmony, a pair of glamoury and artistic hippies with fangs. The story is quite simple. It is less of a story and more of a painting, where you want to watch every detail for hours. Mia Wasikowska was Ava, Eve’s younger sister. She was adorable. John Hurt played an old vampire (hinted to be Shakespeare himself).

It was an odd but pretty movie, a very soft one, with no sex, no biting, no violence. It was so different from any other vampire movie that I have seen that I want to give Jim Jarmusch an Oscar only for creating his own folklore about vampires.

Acting was brilliant. It looked as if Tom and Tilda were not playing vampires, but rather themselves, being as deep, thoughtful, intelligent and lithe as they are in real life.

There was only one scene in which both of them were naked (nothing graphic though) – both of them are so thin! And Tilda is over 50! And she looks amazing!

 

I want that movie. I want to watch it again.

The movie was shot in Detroit, Colon and Tangier. The scenery was amazing. Every single frame is worth capturing.

I didn’t expect that there would be Q&A afterwards, since it was not a premiere and there were very few people, no paps and no buzz. But I was wrong! Jim Jarmusch, Anton Yelchin (who plays Adam’s friend) and Tom Hiddleston were there!

Oh my god. I still can’t believe I saw Tom Hiddleston! He is as charming and as polite in real life as everyone says he is. Anton was adorable. And Jim was freaking hilarious. He joked about Tom, saying that they, the producers, do not really care about how nice/not nice the actors are, so far they can do their job. He laughed and said that Tom is a very nice guy. All while Tom was looking down and being all adorably abashed about it.

There were quite a few questions from the audience (compared to the gala of “12 Years A Slave” where there were no questions from the viewers, only a couple from the host). Somebody asked Tom how it was to work with Tilda and he said that it was amazing. Compared their work to dancing. It was quite lovely (he sounded so adorable).

I was sitting at the far back, but I did manage to take a picture of all of them at the podium. They were also broadcasting the image to the screen. Which was very good because I could see them, compared to 12 Years A Slave (again), where I could see almost nothing from my balcony seat.

When the Q&As were done, I left, because I didn’t want to fight my way to the front to have another look at Tom (I am still wondering if he is as tall as he looks like on screen). People were very nice though, no rabid fangirls. Everyone was leaving (as if we didn’t have the freaking LOKI in the room, but seeing as it was a bit different movie from The Avengers, some people might have not seen it), I saw only a couple of people go closer to the cast and the producer, but I think only because they were already at the front.

It was quite lovely. And seeing Tom Hiddleston made me really happy! 🙂 A photographer was snapping shots right behind my seat all through Q&As, so I am sure we all will see the pictures of my left ear from it on tumblr.

This movie is very much worth seeing. And also this also answers another questions – if it is worth going to any screening but galas/premium. Yes and yes.

And I can’t believe I got lucky again! Woohoo! Hopefully my luck holds through the rest of TIFF.

Happy movie watching!

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