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Widziałam, nie za bardzo mimo miłości do Murraya
~ mnemmosyne
Broken Flowers
dir. Jim Jarmusch / USA, France 2005 / 106’
subtitles: Polish


Bill Murray, Julie Delpy, Jeffrey Wright, Sharon Stone, Tilda Swinton


Cannes IFF 2005 – grand jury prize, Cambridge FF 2005 – audience award, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards 2005 – best supporting actor

Film description

Broken Flowers is a new chapter in the films of Jim Jarmusch, even though the subject matter seems typical for the director: an aging man visits former lovers to check if they have borne him a child. The film does offer several Jarmuschian themes: a road movie filled with static scenes, characters’ consternation due to their own behavior, the impression of grasping ethereal meaning through travel, and scenes with intended clumsiness. However, the tone of this tale differs radically from his previous films, because it lacks the smirk that used to underpin Jarmusch’s world.

A comparison of Jarmusch and Lynch shows two filmmakers using surprisingly similar means to achieve different ends. Lynch uses inertia, consternation, ‘nothing happening’ to evoke anxiety, always horror. Jarmusch uses the same tools for comic relief, to highlight the absurd hilarity of the situation, where silence and awkwardness are mediums of comedy, not anxiety. Broken Flowers is different, a lynchian film by Jarmusch. Static scenes, over extended encounters, and moments of looking for a hint of understanding in the face of another are rarely amusing and frequently alienating. (Which does not mean Jarmusch completely eschews comedy, with the excellent supporting role of Jeffrey Wright being a prime example)?

The stylistic relationship with Lynch continues in the denouement (which I won’t spoil). Suffice it to say, the ending sheds new light on the main character and the entire story.

Michał Chaciński

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