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Broken Flowers (2005)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:28 pm
by hengcs

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Sharon Stone, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, Tilda Swinton, Julie Delpy

At the Cannes Film Festival 2005, it garnered the Grand Prix
see
www.festival-cannes.fr/in...angue=6002
see also
www.festival-cannes.fr/fi...lm=4278008

The official website is here ...
see
brokenflowersmovie.com/

I am WAITING for this film ...
I think it will open Aug 5 ... but will it be at SF ...!?

Re: Broken Flowers (2005)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 7:54 pm
by arsaib4
Thanks for the links, but I think it's preferable if a new film thread is started with some sort of a review. Perhaps a universal thread is required for this kind of info.

Re: Broken Flowers (2005)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 7:59 pm
by hengcs
oh ... i do have the intention to write a review ... that is why i started this thread ...

and i will do so this weekend if it screens at SF this friday ...
meanwhile, i am encouraging people to watch if it screens near them ... so that we will be able to discuss ... hee hee

Re: Broken Flowers (2005)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:56 pm
by kookook
definitely il wtch this movie

Re: Broken Flowers (2005)

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 4:16 am
by hengcs
I have watched ...
Give me a few hours ... and the review will be here

Re: Broken Flowers (2005)

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 3:01 pm
by hengcs
Broken Flowers (2005)

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Sharon Stone, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, Tilda Swinton, Julie Delpy

At the Cannes Film Festival 2005, it garnered the Grand Prix
see
www.festival-cannes.fr/in...angue=6002
see also
www.festival-cannes.fr/fi...lm=4278008

The official website is here ...
see
brokenflowersmovie.com/

Well, I guess many of you would know the gist of the film by now. It revolves around Don, a bachelor, who received a mysterious letter informing him that he had a son. He then went in search of the probable sender

What is good
-- Wow, definitely the soundtrack. I especially like the first song There is an end!

-- I like the way the film ends but will everyone else? Hmmm maybe not
* anyway, I am not going to spoil it for you *
Ironically, the film is about the present not the past (despite his trip to the past) but will the audience be inspired to live in the present?! hmmm maybe not
-- In the film, the male protagonist would come across several young male (whom he thought could have been his son) those scenes are good and thought provoking

-- The performance of the 4 supporting actresses. Despite their very little screen time, they manage to imprint their images in you interestingly, these women do seem realistic (i.e., you can identify with them as such characters do exist) but put together, all the past women ended up pretty weird and rather caricature I wonder if it is for the comical effect?! after all, it is supposed to be a comedy
-- Ok, I agree that Bill Murray does carry his role with his minimalist approach but like many actors who might fall into the trap of being typecast (i.e., always given a very similar role and look he is so like his role in Lost In Translation) can we see him in a very different role?!

What may be problematic
-- Definitely the pacing, the film is rather slow and not too engaging (esp. with the minimalist approach) also, it does not become too sentimental or emotional hmmm, I really wonder if mainstream audience will connect with the film
-- Instead of calling it a comedy, I would rather call it a bittersweet film DO NOT expect hearty laughs honestly, I do not hear the audience breaking into much laughter
* wow on a weekday afternoon, I cant believe there is near to 100 people in the theater I guess it is the first screening in Bay Area, and only in 1 theater that probably explains it *
-- Some things are too contrived
e.g., the naming of Don for Don Juan, and he watched The Private Life of Don Juan" on TV, and there were some lines about him being Don Juan, etc
e.g., Lolita for Lolita

Conclusion:
Ok ok ok I know a lot of critics are going to give it rave reviews BUT forgive me, I guess I set my expectations much too high such that I feel that it is a good film BUT NOT as high as many critics oops it reminds me of my opinion about Lost In Translation again frankly, I think it is slow and not too humorous for mainstream audience

Re: Broken Flowers (2005)

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:38 pm
by wpqx
This was already posted on Film Wurld, so if you read it there, just forget about it here.

Now some of it may seem predictable, the fact that four women could be the mother, I knew that we wouldn't have a film if woman number one was the mother, or two, etc. So basically Jarmusch had the option of offering the mother as the fourth person, or none at all. I hate that the conventions of story telling force this to be the case, but these other characters make the film worthwhile. This isn't so much a "can Don find his son", as much as it's a "look what happened to these people" story.

Don's relationship with his various exes seems to digress as the film goes on. The first one is extremely friendly, and has a daughter who takes after her mother quite noticably. Then you have the insanely boring married couple. This is a feat, to make boring funny. Many a laugh was heard as Don forked four carrots at once, such a simple touch, but effective. For once Murray's deadpan expression fit absolutely perfect, he was looking bored for a reason. Then there was the "busy" Dr. who couldn't give Don a dinner, a drink, or even a walk. And the last one ended with a punch in the face, so what seemed like a potentially fun trip, slowly spiralled downward.

I had to laugh at the line about a "stalker in a Taurus", because I happen to drive a Taurus myself. Granted everyone else in the theater found it pretty damn funny too. The film's humor bears many similarities to Sideways. It is an adult film about relationships, and of course a road trip. It remains to be seen if critics are going to laud this film as much at the end of the year, but so far it's been getting rather positive reviews.

Now for the question that's been bugging me all day, when did Jim Jarmusch become a director for senior citizens? I was the only person in a theater of about 80 people under the age of forty. And when I say old people were the audience, I mean old. There were senile old folks who couldn't find the screen (yes the big thing in front that the movie was playing on), having problems with hearing aids, wandering around aimlessly looking for a seat, walkers, canes, and all the rest. I began to wonder what brought this crowd out. Jarmusch was supposed to be a hip director, I expected a much younger crowd. I also never new Bill Murray to be a favorite of the grandparents, so I wondered what it was. My best guess could be that Roger Ebert (trusted critic to many Chicago citizens) gave it 4 stars. His word is as good as gold for many of these people, and that could have explained why they went to see this film. I had to laugh before the show at another old man wandering into the wrong theater several times looking for Bergman's new movie which he called "Caravan". I shouldn't laugh too hard though because I will probably be that old someday.

Anyways I thought the film was fantastic, and I might have to watch Dead Man again, but as of now, this is my favorite Jarmusch film, exceeded any expecations I had for it. Good film to see for my 22nd birthday.

Re: Broken Flowers (2005)

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 6:55 pm
by hengcs
Hey,
I have just realized that the kid in the car is Bill Murray's real life son doing a cameo ...

Re: Broken Flowers (2005)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 6:37 am
by arsaib4
[Originally posted on 08/25/05]

If Bill Murray was Finnish, then its quite possible that he wouldve been part of a few Aki Kaurismki films already. The Finnish giants trademark dead-pan low-brow style/humor, which is Murray's speciality, has had a huge influence on Jim Jarmusch, especially early on in his career. And now it seems like he has now gone back and stolen one of Kaurismki's protagonists for Broken Flowers, his latest meditation on rootlessness and belonging. Kent Jones once said that Bill Murray is not an "actor," and since Jarmusch has never particularly liked actors, this is a perfect match between these two individuals. In the film, Murray plays Don Johnston, an aging Don Juan who, with much help from an Ethiopian neighbor (Jeffrey Wright), goes on a trip to locate the woman who has sent him a letter claiming that he has a son.

The sort of world Jarmusch usually creates in his films is never quite "realistic," and its not meant to be so (a great example of this would be his 1999 feature, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, with a modern day Samurai patrolling Jersey City). So theres no need to be alarmed even if its quite unlikely that an Ethiopian with five kids would be living next door to someone like Murray with his posh pad. Nevertheless, Jarmusch, as he establishes with a tracking-shot early on, wants us to compare the differing environments of the two individuals. As for the "Don Juan" talk, well, its quite easy to decipher that from the film Murray is watching on his HD set, but people whove actually seen that film (Alexander Kordas The Private Life of Don Juan [1934]) will note that the old film also had an aging Casanova trying to reconnect with his old flames. (Frankly, I have an easier time buying Murray as a Don Juan than as someone who made money with computers, whatever the hell that means.)

Broken Flowers has wit and charm to spare. Its also -- for the most part -- meticulously observed and exquisitely arranged, but Jarmusch, unlike Dead Man (1995) and the aforementioned Ghost Dog, never quite manages to study and explore the various clichd elements he establishes once our Don Juan hits the road. The "Lolita" segment is practically saved by Bill Murrays "non-reaction" reaction even though Jarmuschs act here seems more like a Payne-esque riff on mid-American aloofness to our literary and cinematic worlds. And the subsequent segment is over-acted and directed, so it ends up being quite rigid, right down to a block of rice staring Murray in the face. But Jarmusch and Murrays journey finishes up strong with the third segment featuring the funniest line the film. We also start noticing what kinds of problems these relationships might've had.

Jarmusch's musical choices -- from The Greenhornes "There is an End" to Marvin Gaye's "I Want You" -- are on the mark, as usual. But here its the various Jazz tunes from Ethiopian Mulatu Astatke that help establish and keep a certain mood right till the end. Murray, whose segment with RZA and GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan was the sole interesting aspect of Jarmusch's previous effort Coffee and Cigarettes (2004), gives a minimalist "non-performance" performance which is the best of his career. He basically controls the film with his eyes and thats quite a task. And he even comes through in the scene in which he is required to act. That scene takes place near the end of his journey and it gives the film some weight that it lacked. One only wishes that Jarmusch would've dropped his quizzically cool act for a few more sequences with heart, only because a film like this required it. He does finish the film strong, though, leaving quite a few possibilities for us to mull over. But unlike Stranger than Paradise (1984), which I still believe is his best film, or even Dead Man, and very much like its own protagonist, its likely that Broken Flowers will not mature with age.

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*Available on DVD (Universal) in the U.S.

Re: Broken Flowers (2005)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:20 am
by Johndav
The Kaurismaki link is very useful- yeah, Murray would suit his films, which i'd not thought of (perhaps i should have given the similarities, close ties with Jarmusch). But i found it almost mannered in its laid back style, a disappointment, certainly after the promising Sharron Stone section. Almost too dry and somehow insubstantial. He may be cool but I don't think Jarmusch is stretching himself.