a seemingly random journey through cinema's heart of darkness. so to speak.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Coffee and Cigarettes (2004, Jim Jarmusch)

Is Jim Jarmusch a perpetual film student? Or are film students perpetually like Jim Jarmusch?

While you ponder that, here's the scorecard:

Loved: Blanchett & Blanchett; Coogan & Molina; Rza, Gza & Murray
Liked:Pop & Waits; Rigano, Vella & Vella, Jr.; Rice & Mead
Feh: Lee, Lee & Buscemi; French & Rodriguez; Descas & de Bankole; White, White, Lee & Marvin's portrait
Neh: Benigni & Wright

All in all, not bad for a filmmaker who's simply dicking around. The worst segments flat-out don't work but are hardly awful, while the best is probably the strongest stuff ever jettisoned out of Jarmusch's mind. Ironically (I think), the latter bunch is also the least Jarmuschian. There's a classical structure to them, and they're led more by the actors than the filmmaker. (Coogan, especially, with his perfectly timed non-reactions. In an ideal world, everyone would be goosed to see Around the World in 80 Days.) Jarmusch even cuts a lot more than he usually does; I'd imagined it as eleven static set-ups, but Jarmusch has certainly gone and nabbed up some heavy coverage. Also, 35mm B&W: swooooooon.

For anyone absolutely baffled by my review of Cowards Bend the Knee (two posts down), there's solace for you: I'm gonna write up a normal, healthy, sane post on it terribly soon. Seemed like a good idea at the time...


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