Saturday, May 9, 2009

Jarmusch & Art

I love Jim Jarmusch movies. We were basically first in line to see his new movie The Limits of Control Friday night (while everyone else was off seeing Star Trek, I'd imagine.) I might mention a few things...We haven't gone to see very many movies the past year. I believe the last thing we saw in a theater was Indiana Jones (fun) and that was way back in Seattle. But seeing a new Jarmusch movie in the theater...these are the kinds of things I will go out of my way for. We found out it was playing at a theater here in Chicago called "pipers alley," which I thought sounded cool and artsy but turned out to be a loews/amc. Though it did feature a very odd small escalator that no one was really using and didn't really need to be there....which in my opinion gave a nice Jarmusch -y feel to the place in spite of itself.

I of course really liked it. Not everyone will, I'm sure, the pacing is slow, and it has even less dialogue than other Jarmusch films, which is saying a lot. As a confused person behind me repeatedly, annoyingly, pointed out more than once "it's sooo repetitive." (by the way i might not recommend starting with this movie if you're not familiar with his other films.) But that was all part of the way Jarmusch carefully crafts his films, and I thought was clearly related to the theme of the movie and gave an odd kind of character development that only happens in his movies.

It was really packed full of stuff to think about. I've seen so many movies where you can't make yourself care about the characters at all...Isaach De Bankolé's "lone man" says so little in this film, yet within a few scenes I was glad to be experiencing the imagery with his character in mind. He was definitely a recognizable Jarmusch character, yet I'm not sure exactly what was done to get him there, but it doesn't matter, it worked for me. And art was prominently featured, with the lone man spending much of his time in Madrid's Renia Sophia (where Picasso's Guernica is housed.) It also tied into the story line in a really lovely way. I spent my morning today googling art, trying to remember who created some of the art work featured and referenced.

I'm actually positive it's going to take a few more viewings and time to let this movie sink in, which makes me really happy. I always have such a sense that I relate to Jarmusch's films...which I tend to attribute to his being from Ohio, orginally...though that's surely a little silly since he left when he was about 17. But regardless of how he got there, I love the appreciation of art, science, taking time to consider these things, landscapes, his fascination with communication and language...and I always adore the way he films car travel. So there you have my completely biased crazy positive review from my favorite director ever. I can't wait until his next movie!

And I will definitely be seeing Star Trek in the theaters before long.

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