|The Limits of Control Speaks to a Limited Audience
By Rebecca Ford
The Limits of Control is not a film for the masses. Many will not grasp onto director Jim Jarmusch’s affinity for the laconic. The shots held for a ridiculously long time, the outlandish characters who speak of intangible subjects and the overall sterility of this film are a deadly cocktail to those raised in a fast-moving, ADD society.
But that doesn’t mean Control isn’t a good film. Jarmusch, who brought us 2003’s Coffee and Cigarettes and 2005’s Broken Flowers, has always been known for being cooler than the rest, hipper than most and, maybe, smarter than all of us. In a film world saturated by Hollywood’s formulaic happy endings, Jarmusch is the kink in the machine.
The story of Control follows a lone stranger, played by Isaach De Bankolé, as he travels through Spain on some sort of mission. Along the way, he exchanges secret messages and matchboxes with eccentric characters.
What gets frustrating as time goes on is that audiences learn very little about the leading man. We don’t know much about his mission, or why he’s doing it, or even if he gets paid. We do know that he wears the same suit for several days, he orders two cups of espresso but only drinks one and he spends his free time at art galleries.
The overall feeling of the film is actually very similar to walking through an art gallery. You stare at a painting for a while, think, “Oh, that’s nice,” and then move on to the next. You can’t touch the art, and no matter how hard you try, you can never really feel one with it. It’s just a nice scene to look at before moving on to the next… See the rest at socal.com