The Limits of Control (2009)

Feature Film | Crime Comedy
USA/Japan | English & Spanish | 1h56m
Dir: Jim Jarmusch | Scr: Jim Jarmusch | Ph: Christopher Doyle | Prod: Gretchen McGowan & Stacey Smith | Mus: Boris | Ed: Jay Rabinowitz | PD: Eugenio Caballero | Snd: Robert Hein | Cast: Isaach De Bankolé, Alex Descas, Jean-François Stévenin, Óscar Jaenada, Luis Tosar, Paz de la Huerta, Tilda Swinton, Kudō Yūki, John Hurt, Gael García Bernal, Hiam Abbass, Bill Murray

A lone hitman arrives in Spain to await orders for his next job. He spends his time acting affectedly – drinking espressos (two at a time in separate cups), visiting the same art gallery daily (but only ever looking at one painting – a different one each day), spending day and night wearing the same shiny, conspicuous suit. Until his final orders come through, he also meets with various contacts – all of whom look and act even more conspicuous than he does – exchanging matchboxes containing coded messages with each of them. Jarmusch’s film is a decidedly odd one. Together with cinematographer Doyle he has created some stunning imagery, which parades before our eyes at a beautifully languorous pace. However, the minimal plotting is hardly convincing, and the broad characterisation and oddball humour not exactly in line with general aesthetic. Never the less, it’s often quite beautiful if only occasionally somewhat chucklesome.