Burning Bottoms and Broken Flowers

"I'm a stalker in a Taurus"

Well, that’s more like it. Had a fairly productive writing day, though the heat is being applied to my buttocks in higher and higher temperatures. The plan this weekend is to hide off in the bush somewhere and write my ass, well, off. Actually caught myself feeling a slight tinge of confidence about the whole project, though it could just be that chicken satay I ate for lunch playing tricks with my self-esteem…

Mood is back to its vaguely crabby but relatively normal self, which is also nice. I got enough work done today that I rewarded myself with a date with Renée to see a matinee of the new Jim Jarmusch movie Broken Flowers. It’s great. After watching the 75% steaming pile that was Coffee and Cigarettes, it’s nice to have the dead-pan, sardonic Jarmusch back again that we know and love.

Bill Murray gives a performance that could only be summed up as spartan. He strips away any excessive movement or facial expression and distills his performance down to the barest of essentials. It’s like the best use of white space you’ve ever seen in a movie; it’s not what’s being shown as much as what isn’t.

The media has been talking a lot about how this is purportedly Jarmusch’s most mainstream effort, but I’m not sure I see it. All of the typical Jarmuschian elements are in place: unemotional lead surrounded by characters and events both strange and profane, very episodic structure, almost uncomfortably deliberate pacing, and some very, very funny moments.

I suppose it’s the Sharon Stone effect: add Sharon Stone onto your cast and suddenly your movie is more mainstream. That said, she’s not too bad, though she’s not really stretching herself here. I still think her role in Casino was the one that somehow redeemed her in my eyes, though the fact that she’s currently shooting a sequel to Basic Instinct isn’t a good sign for the future.

I have to say, though, and I won’t be a spoiler, but the “controversial” ending was one of the best endings I’ve seen in a long time. Just like everything else in the film, it’s just enough and not a smidgen more.

After a rather long week, the movie was exactly what I expected, and that’s all I could have hoped for. I left the theatre feeling suitably fulfilled and ready to face the rest of the day with Jackie Mittoo’s funky keyboards reverberating in my head.

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