Comments on Arthur B's Jim Jarmusch Via Germany, Part 3

Our tour of the works of the American auteur (via a German blu-ray boxed set) concludes with three off-kilter genre pieces.

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Robinson L at 18:00 on 2018-06-18
finally, we have Don’s return home, with few questions answered but still, perhaps, changed a little by the journey.

You describe all the movies as idiosyncratic takes on genre films, but this article brought up for me two of the biggest reservations I typically have about independent/non-mainstream films. First, I have the concern that "slow, introspective, and light on action" will translate into "horrendously dull."

Second, I fear their endings will be unsatisfying. I almost always get annoyed with stories where the protagonist chases after some big goal, only to come to the end and they just never reach the goal to succeed or fail. Morals like "it's not the destination which matters, it's the journey," or "in real life, you don't get everything wrapped up nicely" are perfectly good in theory, but in most cases, they make the whole story feel pointless. And yeah, sometimes the pointlessness is the point of the exercise, but at that stage, to me, the story is just up itself. Maybe some philosophical concepts are best not explored in narrative format if they are actively incompatible with narrative storytelling.

... All of which is by way of saying that after reading your descriptions of the three movies, I feel like it's still an open question, if I ever decided to sit down and watch any of them, "would I be bored by this?" and "would the ending make it feel like the whole thing was a waste of time?" (I've actually seen a review of Only Lovers Left Alive which suggests there is a potentially satisfying conclusion, so there's that).

I guess I'm wondering, since the first two movies especially sound like they're all about raising standard genre movie questions and then deliberately not answering them - can you tell me what is there about the films which is supposed to hold my interest as a potential viewer?
Arthur B at 10:34 on 2018-06-19
Character performances, mood and aesthetic mostly. Though I will note that the protagonist of The Limits of Control does get the job done.

There is a culmination to Don's search in Broken Flowers, but I didn't want to spoiler it in the review, so I'll spoil it here in the comments:
Back in his hometown he runs into a young man of the right approximate age who seems to be travelling, and attempts to befriend the guy because he assumes that it's his son who's finally tracked him down. His attempt to be fatherly ends up coming across as creepy, and the guy runs away. Immediately after that, a car drives by and a different young man, also of the appropriate age and played by Bill Murray's IRL son, is staring out of the passenger window contemplatively - the implication being that this might be the actual kid, and Don just creeped out a total stranger purely because the stranger was the sort of person he'd like to think his son was.
Robinson L at 05:02 on 2018-06-25
Okay, that sounds like potentially a satisfying ending. At least like an event which extends naturally from the preceding narrative and gives some sense of closure to the story.
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