Jim Jarmusch has been a seminal director in American independent cinema for over 20 years, and he’s definitely still in his prime. Probably most well known for his work with Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton in 2005’s Broken Flowers, Jarmusch has always enthused his films with fantastic personalities and brutally honest performances. Whether it’s the odd couple pairing of Tom Waits and Roberto Benigni (1986’s cult hit Down by Law), or his generation-spanning vignette Coffee and Cigarettes (the White Stripes were in it), his films are more an exploration of charismatic characters than calculated drama. And as dynamic as his work is, there has always been a constant attention to cinematic beauty and a storytelling patience, sometimes at the expense of a driving plot. But coming from a diehard Terrence Mallick fan, I say, screw driving plots.
Jarmusch’s latest, being screened for the first time in Nashville tomorrow evening–for free–follows a lone assassin (called just that, “Lone Assassin”) through Spain on a secret mission. As such, the film is largely meditative and features the beautiful locales just as prominently as Isaach De Bankolé’s brilliant performance. Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton also make appearances as characters named “American” and “Blonde” respectively. A cryptic plot leaves the audience roughly out-of-the-loop and plays joyfully with metaphors reminiscent of a David Lynch mindf***. As such, it’s bound to be a fascinating experience, and you’ll likely be scratching your head on the way out. That being said, it’s not for everyone, but if you enjoy thrilling cinematography, awesome soundtracks and a pace that leaves room for pondering, The Limits of Control is right up your alley.
Check out The Limits of Control as a part of Vanderbilt’s International Lens Series. The screening is this Wednesday at 7pm at the Sarratt Cinema.