Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oberon reports on Jarmusch's "Only Lovers . . . "

Trailer for Jim Jarmusch's new film, "Only Lovers Left Alive"

by Linda Theil

I went to see Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive” last week at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, where the film was showing in a limited USA release. Our readers may recall that Oberon reported on this film almost exactly a year ago when Jarmusch screened “Only Lovers . . .” at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. In an interview in Cannes, Jarmusch and actor John Hurt -- who plays Christopher Marlowe in the film – expressed anti-Stratfordian views on the Shakespeare authorship question. For a video of this interview, see "Director Jim Jarmusch and actor John Hurt proclaim anti-Stratfordian views at Cannes Film Festival" dated May 30, 2013.

Jarmusch's film depicts Kit Marlowe as the true author of the Shakespeare canon, and the topic is not a sideline, as I had imagined from preliminary discussion, but is a key point of the film. In one of the film's few extended dialogues, the vampire Eve and her dear friend, fellow vampire, and sustenance provider Marlowe engage in a byplay wherein Eve tempts Marlowe to astound the world by revealing his authorship of the Shakespeare canon. "It would cause such thrilling chaos," she says.

I do not pretend to know what this very beautiful and slightly boring movie is about. Like a similarly gorgeous film, Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" that was released last year, the story is slight and the dialogue almost brutal in its truncated pointlessness. Yet these films are the frontline of culture and Jarmusch's inclusion of the Shakespeare authorship question documents the emerging vitality of this haunting issue that we, and others, find so compelling. 

"Only Lovers Left Alive" will be released on DVD Sept. 15, 2014.