Friday, January 15, 2010

The Limits of Control

The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch, 2009) [6]

The Limits of Control is certainly a film to be examined on its surface. It's a character study that never really delves into its character. The story is filled with quite a bit of existential discussion on seemingly nothing and a lot of repetitive actions and dialogue but never moves anywhere with any immediacy. Lone Man (Issach De Bankole) is a perpetually suited hitman planted in Spain to carry out a job, the pieces revealed by a series of eccentric characters. Lone Man' activities are structured round a series of repetitive actions, drinking two espressos in seperate cups or exchanging match books with his auxiliaries. The repetition suits the style of the film to a T, as it blends effortlessly with Jarmusch's minimalist style. Christopher Doyle's cinematography adds a vibrancy of color and a tone of coolness to the proceedings. But the real question is what comes out of the film? Outside of its impressive structure and images, there is a void of anything substantial in the film. Lone Man gets his instructions and carries out his mission and nothing seems that important about it. If it was Jarmusch's intention or not, the film ends up feeling completely void of any lingering sentiment about what was just seen. Even though it looks good, The Limits of Control vanishes almost as quickly as the credits roll.

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