Only Lovers Left Alive

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Screenwriters: Jim Jarmusch

Institute History

  • 2014 Sundance Film Festival


Jim Jarmusch first attended the Sundance Film Festival in 1985 and won a Special Jury Prize for Stranger Than Paradise. His newest feature, Only Lovers Left Alive, premiered in competition at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Set against the desolation of the once-vibrant cities of Detroit and Tangier, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction the world is going, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover. Their love story has already endured at least several centuries, but their debauched, romantic idyll is soon disrupted by the woman’s wild and uncontrollable younger sister. Can these wise, but fragile, outsiders continue to survive as the modern world collapses around them?

Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch approaches this vampire romance with an ease that beautifully tracks these contemporary creatures, who are lost in their indifference toward humanity except for the intoxication of enjoying arts like literature and music. Jarmusch fills the screen with gorgeous, gothic imagery as his characters—who wholly embrace their unique environment—share their burnt-out observations on the state of society. Only Lovers Left Alive is a sublime, cinematic poem of passion and despair seen through the cool shades of a sly, postmodern master director.

— Charlie Reff

Screening Details

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