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Cannes Update: Male Dinosaurs Misspeak, Jury and Jarmusch's 'Only Lovers Left Alive' Press Conferences (Videos)

by Anne Thompson
May 27, 2013 4:09 PM
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'Only Lovers Left Alive' at Cannes

Although Ohio-born Jarmusch hates to explain himself--“I really want this film to speak for itself. I don’t want to demystify it by analyzing or dissecting it or why we did this or what does this mean? I’m not sure I know what things mean in the film"--he admitted that the film took seven years to make (at one point Michael Fassbender was attached) and that both Swinton and John Hurt stuck with the project, which was finally funded in the U.K., France, Cyprus and Germany at $7 million. "It took a very, very long time," Jarmusch said, "and it’s getting more and more difficult for films that are maybe a little unusual or maybe not predictable or not satisfying people’s expectations of something -- which is the beauty of cinema: discovering new things of all forms."

Swinton tried to unravel the allure of vampires: “I suppose because they live these long, long, potentially never-ending lives, and we’re all so terrified of thinking of mortality that we’d rather think about being immortal,” she said. "I think the idea of invisibility and yet existing visibly is really beautiful and it was always coming. I was never surprised when Jim said to me, ‘Let’s make a vampire film.’ I felt like saying ‘You’ve been making vampire films for years,’ it feels like a very natural state, that invisible, immortal world.”

The always articulate Hiddleston (who tweets beautifully) was attracted to “the idea of a character who embodied a romanticism and melancholy, but still motivated by a curiosity towards the things that he loved. And I feel like he is fascinated by two separate things which are entwined: music and science. He’s enamored by vibrating particles: they might be stringed instruments and they might be stars. And he’s so passionate about these things, and he’s such a brilliant musician and engineer, but in a way he can’t see that. And she is broader and she can hold his fragility. And it was just a beautiful story about two people who loved each other and accepted each other and they happened to be vampires. And the idea of exploring love in a context of immortality, if you are challenged with immortality, is it a blessing? Is it a curse? And what does that do to your commitment?”

Both actors agreed that they were playing characters who were more animal than human. They thought of the vampires as feral wolves. “For some people this is vampire film, for some people it’s a fairy story and for other people, it’s a documentary,” Swinton said. Sony Pictures Classics will likely release the film this fall.


  • Anne Thompson | May 30, 2013 1:02 AMReply

    Thanks Lisa!

  • Lisa Nesselson | May 29, 2013 9:05 AMReply

    Just a few tweaks in terms of context:

    Polanksi's comment about dominating his cast (a cast consisting of exactly two people) was absolutely tongue-in-cheek and completely in keeping with the film being discussed, "Venus in Fur."

    In a similar vein, two years ago Brad Pitt said from that same podium that he beats his children and deprives them of food (in reply to a question on whether his parenting style resembles that of the dad he played in "Tree of Life.") Nobody took him at his word.

    Polanski's film is a celebration of female strength and a warning against underestimating a woman based solely on the way she looks or sounds.

  • tyler4all | May 27, 2013 10:31 PMReply

    Why should Ozon have to apologize? He's not running for office, what is the big deal? Some women do have fantasies about prostitution. the point of a fantasy is NOT for it to become a reality! its not the nature of the fantasy that is important but the emotions elicited by the fantasy. Either way, a non-issue. You'd think a movie-maker, a storyteller could get away with a harmless comment such as that. movies ARE mostly fantasy! suspension of disbelief, anyone? stop asking filmmakers questions and just watch the damn movie again. But, of course, tongue slips draw traffic and create stories. blah...cant wait to see his movie now!

  • Ramesh | May 27, 2013 11:58 PM

    Hollywood publicists are about 20 years behind current feminist theory.

    (its almost as if hollywood is a kingdom which has a Daddy king whose this cigar chomping nazi of the prescott bush variety, a mommy queen whose rather firmly married to daddy , and is a jane fonda feminist of the cosmetic variety , and a male son prince whose gay, who needs periodic coddling and identity reaffirming.

  • michaela | May 27, 2013 6:01 PMReply

    Who really cares? America is so conservative and puritanical for heaven's sake (and embarrassingly pc) is this article........

  • Ramesh | May 27, 2013 7:03 PM

    No it's not! The Hollywood System's FANTASY America is oldfashioned hitlerian/ Nat Soc Party nazi and PC Simultaneously...if you can imagine that ... Remember when Dick morris was predicting a Romney landslide on the day of the polls? The paid publicists of the H system are like that.

  • Salty Bill | May 27, 2013 6:05 PM

    Agreed. America is crippled by Political Correctness.

  • Ramesh | May 27, 2013 5:49 PMReply

    Also: Jodorowski (whom this headline is REALLY about, obliquely) was (surprise!) the man who made Jurrasic park.

  • Ramesh | May 27, 2013 5:40 PMReply

    PS: I'd rather watch a Polanski film than read politically correct US publicist junk that comes out of cannes. NOT SO FAST Francois! ;)

  • Ramesh | May 27, 2013 5:35 PMReply

    has speilberg left the place? is cannes safe for humanity again?

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