Bloodsuckers in Cannes

A Jim Jarmusch movie is rare and mysterious. Today in Cannes his latest film “Only Lovers Left Alive” starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska and Anton Yelchin was shown as a part of the competition program.

“Lovers” is your average love story between centuries-old people (Swinton and Hiddleston). One lives in Detroit and the other, Tangier.

Adam is depressed because he’s disappointed in mankind, which he calls zombies, and he summons Eve back to Detroit. Not sure why these two were living in separate homes in the first place—lighter tax liabilities, probably.

Jarmusch threw in some great music to help punctuate the story (which is rather on the thin side, but then meaty narratives never have characterized his films).

Ever since “The Limits of Control,” Jarmusch has slided into his mournful/meditative period. His vampire characters glide from one scene into the next, often huddling around a flask of Type O blood, which after drinking precipitates them into a fangy bliss reminiscent of that produced by a thimble of morphine mixed in a glass of absinthe. Here I thought, that’s strange; isn’t blood supposed to provide nourishment to vampires, and not medicate?

John Hurt plays a bruised fruit of a vampire who wears a chemise from several centuries ago (and who can blame him? They don’t make them like that anymore) and offers advice and comfort to his quote-unquote younger peers.

Adam and Eve’s indolent, nighttime existence is disturbed after Ava (Wasikowska), a blood-thirsty teenaged Cindy Lauper-type, shows on up to wreak soft havoc upon their lives.

“Only Lovers Left Alive” is lethargic and too carefree, to be sure, and is paced very similarly to “The Limits of Control.” But the originality of the casting choices and some great second-degree humor help make this a fun festival discovery.

(And yet, still holding out hope that Jarmusch will partner up with people like Bill Murray, GZA, RZA and Benigni and get loopy all over again).