From the Archive: Broken Flowers

The latest film from writer-director Jim Jarmusch dribbles into my town this weekend. As a good little cinema devotee, I should head out to the local multiplex to take it in — especially since the film has earned strong reviews, notably for star Adam Driver — but I’ll admit that I probably won’t. Since I wrote the piece shared here, I’ve come around to some of Jarmusch’s earlier features, but he remains a distancing artist for me. I could go on, but that’s basically what I write about in this review from my former online home, so…. I suppose I … Continue reading From the Archive: Broken Flowers

Besson, Clooney, Gilroy, Jarmusch, Jones

Lucy (Luc Besson, 2014). Though based on a half-baked idea from the rambunctious mind of its director rather than anything that originally appeared on a printed page, Lucy can make a claim on being one of the best comic book movies of the past year, in that it establishes and locks in on its own suspicious and imaginative logic and then lets all other rules fall away in favor of what’s most thrillingly entertaining in any given moment. Scarlett Johansson plays the title character, a young woman whose scruffy boyfriend gets her ensnarled in a situation in which she’s an … Continue reading Besson, Clooney, Gilroy, Jarmusch, Jones

Bier, Brooks, Galkin, Jarmusch, Karlson

Kevorkian (Matthew Galkin, 2010). This documentary is about the Michigan physician who gained notoriety and, in some quarters, infamy by advocating for the right of terminally ill patients to end their lives on their own terms and providing the mechanized means to do so in the most humane fashion possible. The relative lack of voices arguing against the very premise of Kevorkian’s actions makes it fairly clear where Galkin’s sympathies lie, but the film is no hagiography. He gives a full airing to the combativeness, unpleasantness and self-defeating egotism of the man, leaving a strong impression that Kevorkian may be … Continue reading Bier, Brooks, Galkin, Jarmusch, Karlson

Allen, Cuaron, Jarmusch, Kazan, Kaufman

Stranger Than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch, 1984). A New Yorker’s Hungarian cousin comes to visit, staying with him for an extended period, despite his initial protests. He grows to like her, eventually recruiting his buddy to join him in paying her a visit when she later moves to Cleveland. That trip evolves and the three of them wind up traveling to Florida together. And that’s about it. Jarmusch’s signature aesthetic was forged here as he often seems to be trying to see how little action he can put into any given sequence. Sometimes that can be wearying, but here it works … Continue reading Allen, Cuaron, Jarmusch, Kazan, Kaufman