Sunday, January 3, 2010

Limits of Control

“I always wanted to make an action film with no action, or a film with suspense but no drama.”

Jim Jarmusch


I saw Jim Jarmusch’s new film the Limits of Control the last day 0f 2009. I was blow away how cool literally the films is. it is minimalist and beautiful, a kind thriller, a bit James Bondish, about a cool intense man, “Lone Man” played by Isaach De Bankolé, sent from Madrid to Andalusia to do a task and all of the strange people he meets on the way. 

Many scenes reminded me of Antonioni’s beautiful and desolate takes; specially in L’Avventura. The main character stoic, elegant (he wears really cool suits) and handsome a kind of Marcello Mastroiani but for 2010, revealing great depth and sensation. The films uses these premises in a way practically new.

I grew fond of Jarmusch’s films after Coffee and Cigarettes, and Broken Flowers.  The narrative is cut and complex, at times but it reminds us of great eras of cinema like the 60’s. The film is hypnotic by using a classic cinematic language.  It reverses the typical formula; instead of jumping around for your attention it allows you the privilege of watching.  It’s the film’s time and movement and motivations that matter, and given the chance they will freeze you into a different understanding of things. 

I loved the premise of the film taken from Jose Alfredo Jimenez’s quote “La Vida No vale nada” (Life is worth nothing). A statement deeply rooted in the Mexican folk, curious choice, indeed. Many audiences in the world perhaps wouldn't not get the direct reference, which is reinforced by the “Mexican”, a character played by Gael Garcia Bernal.  

In many ways, Limits of Control is a lot like Dead Man, though maybe a little more of a diagram.  Like Dead Man the hero is on a journey, he meets a string of characters who make curious pronouncements about life, the inspiration is taken from ideas the main character takes from looking at the paintings at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. Whether the film is about reality or dreams is irrelevant. The trip is rendered like a lush dream saturated in the light of southern Spain and guitar feedback, the hero says virtually nothing but inhabits a space of enormous gravity and knowledge and calm.  A must see for those who enjoy great films.


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