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The Travelers Guide to Jim Jarmusch

Posted March 24, 2009 to photo album "The Travelers Guide to Jim Jarmusch"

Permanent Vacation
Stranger than Paradise
Down by Law
Mystery Train
Night on Earth
Dead Man
Year of the Horse
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Coffee and Cigarettes
Broken Flowers
Broken Flowers

Broken Flowers

Broken Flowers: When its characters hopped the turnpike from run-down New York to snowy, busted-down Cleveland, Stranger than Paradise became a gloriously ramshackle road movie, expertly exploiting all of the poetic and melancholic possibilities of the genre. In Broken Flowers, which stars Bill Murray and features actresses such as Sharon Stone, Tilda Swinton and Jessica Lange in supporting roles, Jarmusch revisits the genre but this time America has morphed into a bland, same-seeming collection of suburbs and nice homes that are devoid of the spiritual richness of the earlier film's bohemian neighborhoods. This is finally the Jarmusch movie that takes place after urban sprawl. Taking his rental car onto the turnpike with a mix tape of Mulatu Astatke's Ethiopian jazz as his soundtrack, Murray plays a wealthy software designer and aging ladies man, Don Johnston, who is compelled to revisit his old girlfriends after receiving an anonymous letter telling him that he has a son who has gone on a search for him. Of course, as in most spiritual road movies, the trip is about the journey, not the destination. Wrote David Edelstein in Slate, "Jarmusch and Murray… have made a deadpan movie that quivers with feeling. Broken Flowers is Jarmusch's most conventionally entertaining film, but it's still visually rigorous, swimming in pregnant silences, and un-filled-in in a way that's tantalizing. The movie is a haunted meditation on solipsism that's full of extraneous life, that hints at a world elsewhere."