Jim Jarmusch
Jim Jarmusch

Downtown crowd shows up for new Tilda Swinton drama

About eight years ago, Tilda Swinton received a call from her director pal Jim Jarmusch on New Year’s Eve, saying, “Hey man, let’s make a vampire movie.”

“I would make any movie that Jim would propose to me, frankly,” Swinton said on Wednesday night at the Cinema Society screening of “Only Lovers Left Alive” at Manhattan’s Landmark Sunshine Cinema.

The downtown crowd at the event included Christy Turlington, Peter Sarsgaard, Stellan Skarsgard and director Joel Coen. Patti Smith hugged Swinton on the red carpet–“I love this movie,” she said, noting it was her second time seeing it. At the after party at the Handy Liquor Bar, guests sipped on vampire-themed Qui Tequila cocktails.

Jarmusch told Variety about the struggle to get his vision made, citing the purse tightening of indie film financiers compared to when he started in the ’80s as a young director. “The world economy, the fact that studios have conglomerated, there aren’t that many smaller distributors anymore,” he explained.

Sony Pictures Classics picked up North American rights to the film just before it screened at Cannes in May. “We saw it at a pre-screening,” said Tom Bernard, the studio’s co-president. “We wanted to try to buy it before it played at Cannes, because we knew it would go over like gangbusters. To me, it’s the coolest film [Jarmusch] has made since ‘Ghost Dog.'”

Even though she plays the vampire heroine in the film, Swinton confessed she had never seen “Twilight,” adding, “Maybe I shall after this.”

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