Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Limits of Control (2009)

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Universal DVD

Mr. Jarmusch's latest feature stars Isaach De Bankole as, well, as a hitman? A criminal? It's hard to say. The character doesn't speak much and seems to just journey from location to location (apparently in Spain) picking up coded messages in matchboxes from various international characters. The film resides in a dream logic world that is filled with repetition, recurring motifs, and a deliberate pace. Art, music, and classic film are all referenced in dialog and in visuals. The narrative structure actually feels more like a piece of music told in movements than it does a traditional three act structure. This combined with an outstanding score by the Japanese band "Boris" make for a surreal viewing experience. It resembles the Jarmusch of Dead Man more than say, Broken Flowers. The rest of the cast is filled out with what could be considered extended cameos from a plethora of current art house superstars such as; Tilda Swinton, Youki Kudoh, Bill Murray, Gael Garcia Bernal, and John Hurt. While I would be hard pressed to recommend this one, I found it the kind of thing I enjoy. I won't revisit it the as much as I have other Jarmusch offerings, but the reference to Aki Kaurismäki's La vie de boheme gives it bonus points.


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