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The Limits of Control
No Limits No Control

USA / Japan 2009
produced by
Gretchen McGowan, Stacey Smith, Jon Kilik (executive), Yukie Kito (executive) for Focus Features, PointBlank Films, Entertainment Farm
directed by Jim Jarmusch
starring Isaach De Bankolé, Alex Descas, Jean-François Stévenin, Óscar Jaenada, Luis Tosar, Paz de la Huerta, Tilda Swinton, Yuki Kudo, John Hurt, Gael García Bernal, Hiam Abbass, Bill Murray, Héctor Colomé, María Isasi, Norma Yessenia Paladines, Alejandro Muñoz Biggie, Cristina Sierra Sánchez, Pablo Lucas Ortega, La Truco, Talegón de Córdoba, Jorge Rodriguez Padilla
written by Jim Jarmusch, music by Boris, cinematography by Christopher Doyle

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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A stranger (Isaach De Bankole) who's always impeccably dressed and has some peculiar habits, comes to Spain for the first time, and without speaking a word of the language - and on the airport he gets his assignment ... well, part of it anyways, as it seems to be a top secret and in all likelyhood illegal operation, so the lesser our hero knows the better. And while collecting the pieces of the puzzle that lead to the completion of his job, we see the stranger touring the country and crossing paths with all kinds of people who hand him more and more information, and also pieces of their own minds. Again and again our hero bumps into a naked woman (Paz de la Huerta) who sometimes wears a transparent raincoat, and whose intentions are clear, but he refuses to have sex while on assignment. Eventually, it seems the competition closes in on the stranger, as he sees one of his informers (Tilda Swinton) kidnapped in broad daylight - but that doesn't faze him, as he has set his sights on the goal, come what may ...

John Hurt plays one of the stranger's informers, Bill Murray plays a rivaling gangster boss.

 

Arguably, Jim Jarmusch is at best when he takes apart a genre formula and re-assembles it in a way that's sure to disappoint die-hard genre fans - and The Limits of Control is no exception here, a film that quite obviously takes its cues from European crime cinema, but whittles its core story down to the bone so much it almost seems abstract, and then adds Jarmusch's trademark laconic humour to it, plus his predilection for deceleration and long static or almost static shots to make this film's tried and true concept 100% his own. Now add to this a rather breathtaking cinematography making perfect use of the Spanish landscapes, and a strong and colourful cast, and you've got a minor masterpiece for sure.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
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Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD