• Jarmusch’s formal rigor stretched to the extremes—repetition, tone and visuals over narrative—Jarmusch has never made a more beautiful film
  • It’s demanding and I think Jarmusch misses an opportunity by making it 112 minutes—at 92 and with a superior score (like one from Dead Man from Neil Young or Ghost Dog from RZA) I think this is a masterpiece
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like Point Blank that inspired it– avant-garde shots and mirror work here
  • Incredible Spanish canvas shot by WKW long-time photographer and collaborator Christopher Doyle
  • As the title says a “Point Blank” production—Jarmusch’s company—this is very much influenced by the 1967 John Boorman masterpiece – a stoic man on a mission—a “B-film narrative” on top of an art-house backdrop (this could be a Antonioni masterwork, Resnais)
foreground/background focus– low-angle and architecture as character
  • Soft-focus repetition—really quite wonderful.
  • Other formal repetition – Café “Two espressos, in two separate cups”, cafes, red colors, exchanging match boxes, lying in bed contemplating, yoga (in a tailored suit) vignettes with colorful outside characters (from Hurt to Swinton to the beautiful naked gal to Gael Garcia Bernal to Murray at the end)
  • Architecture as character through low-angle shots— others with Isaach De Bankolé lost in the backdrop
this is Antonioni– think of the scenes of Jeanne Moreau lost in La Notte swallowed up by the modern architecture
a jaw-dropper here
  • Largely a silent film
  • Reoccurring sequences where Isaach De Bankolé goes to the museum to appreciate the art—Jarmusch almost shoots them like two people in love
  • Welles Lady from Shanghai in the text—Swinton’s character saying “the best films are dreams you’re never sure you’ve really had”  — references in the test to Tarkovsky’s Stalker and Kaurismäki
  • Staircase shots with that like ivory color and blood red
  • Repetition of phrases – “you don’t speak Spanish, right?”
  • Great shots of the windmills in the background on the train
  • When he switches towns we get a new color pattern—lots of just walking—escalators, glorious landscapes
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there are 50 shots like this
  • We’re really watching an assassin film with the drama taken out—the routine between jobs and in the preparation. If it weren’t for the formal construction and breathtaking visuals I’d agree this sounds—um— not enticing
  • Reoccurring overhead shot of the espressos—between that and the stranger meeting vignettes this is surely a companion piece of Coffee and Cigarettes—the assassin plot definitely makes it a cousin to Ghost Dog (De Bankolé in it as well and the quiet lead)
  • Shots walking down the street with graffiti is in just about all of Jarmusch’s films
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  • Miraculously detailed final set piece location—white bed sheets draped (De Bankolé then goes to the museum and sees artwork with the bed sheet)
formal repetition- Jarmusch’s trademark– great symmetry here as well with the image
  • It’s so silent it’s almost jarring when Murray shows up with all the dialogue near the end.
  • When the job is over De Bankolé leaves and the next cut makes it look like we’re going back to the normal world—ties to the dream/sleep quality of both this and
  • Production designer here Eugenio Caballero did Pan’s Labyrinth and Roma
  • Rosenbaum – spot on here— “the urban and rural landscapes here do more for my imagination than the various American suburban stretches of  Jarmusch’s previous feature.”
  • MS