One week to go before the premiere of The Limits of Control, and the first reviews are coming in. Industry papers The Hollywood Reporter and Variety both pretty much slam the film, saying it's bewildering and ultimately hollow. On his blog, however, esteemed film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum calls it "immensely pleasurable and mesmerizing".
Some more clips and stills have also become available. I do my best to collect them here.
As the May 1 premiere of The Limits of Control draws closer, more and more details begin to emerge. In the press notes, Jim Jarmusch talks about key influences for the film:
"What would it be like if Jacques Rivette remade John Boorman's masterpiece 'Point Blank'? Or what if Marguerite Duras remade Jean-Pierre Melville's 'Le Samourai'? Michelangelo Antonioni looms large in my subconscious so he's probably there, but I wasn't thinking about him beforehand. I was obliquely thinking of Euro crime films from the 1970s and 1980s, like some of Francesco Rosi's work. These impressionistic inspirations floated through my head, in terms of finding a style rather than imitating these movies."
After a long time with only minimal information about The Limits of Control, the recent release of the trailer and the official Focus Features site brings us a lot to dive into.
The synopsis sounds roughly the same as in the first press release:
"The Limits of Control is the story of a mysterious loner (played by Mr. De Bankole), a stranger, whose activities remain meticulously outside the law. He is in the process of completing a job, yet he trusts no one, and his objectives are not initially divulged. His journey, paradoxically both intently focused and dreamlike, takes him not only across Spain but also through his own consciousness."
The release date has been confirmed as May 22, "in select theatres".
The tagline, on the Focus Features site, is:
FOR EVERY WAY IN, THERE IS ANOTHER WAY OUT.
The credits reveal that it features music by Boris (Wikipedia/MySpace), also heard in the trailer. Ideologic.org, a website devoted to artist Stephen O'Malley, who's a member of another drone metal band, Sunn O)), reports that the movie's soundtrack contains music by SUNN O))) & Boris, Boris and Earth.
The cast contains no surprises compared to what's been revealed earlier: Isaach De Bankolé, Alex Descas, Jean-François Stévenin, Luis Tosar, Paz De La Huerta, Tilda Swinton, Youki Kudoh, John Hurt, Gael García Bernal, Hiam Abbass, Bill Murray.
The trailer contains these floating titles:
A PROFESSIONAL / IS NEVER DISTRACTED / BUT EVERY MAN / HAS HIS LIMITS
WATCH / FOLLOW / SEDUCE / EXECUTE / CONTROL
and contains a few snippets of dialogue, such as:
- No guns, no sex. How can you stand it?
- How did you get in here? - I used my imagination.
- Among us, there are those that are not among us. - I'm among noone.
- Sometimes the reflection is far more present than the thing being reflected.
The Playlist on Blogspot.com brings news of the first official stills from The Limits of Control, via a link to a Spanish site where 13 images have been posted. I've put them up here. The resolution isn't very high, and they come with a Universal watermark, though they certainly give a good indication of the look of the film, still slated for release on May 22.
According to a Focus Features press release (January 12th), The Limits of Control "will be released in exclusive engagements on May 22nd."
I'm not sure what to make of "exclusive engagements", though the date coincides with the Cannes film festival (May 13-24), which has often served as the venue for the world premieres of Jarmusch's films.
In the early 80's The Del-Byzanteens played a number of concerts at clubs such as CBGB's, Hurrah and the Mudd Club in New York City. Three of their shows at the Hurrah club were filmed, in their entirety, by Merrill Aldighieri, who has uploaded three clips to her website. Last month, Aldighieri announced that work on "a feature length DVD based on the Del-Byzanteens live performances at Hurrah has begun". Some more info over at Limited Control.
Very little is still known about Jim Jarmusch's next film, tentatively titled "The Limits of Control", apart from the announcement made by by Focus Features in February earlier this year, detailed here. Nothing substantial has yet been leaked, except for Paste Magazine (February 2008) claiming that Roman Polanski and Javier Bardem are "suspected for cameos", though I'm not sure what that rumor is based on. However, a few on location snap shots have cropped up on the web, taken in Madrid (in February) and Senés, Almería (in March), in Spain. I've set up a photo album collecting some of them here.
I've set up a forum to accompany the Jim Jarmusch Resource Page (at http://forum.jim-jarmusch.net), linked in the site menu, above to the right. Feel free to use it any way you wish, to ask questions, to answer them, to voice your opinions, to spread news etc. I've suggested a few categories in the forum outline, but you can use the "General" board for any topics which don't fit in any of the categories. Please note that this is my first attempt at creating a forum, I'm sure there are some bugs and annoyances, which I hope to be able to iron out in due time.
In case it has escaped anyone, Jim Jarmusch is reportedly at work on a new film, tentatively titled The Limits of Control, slated for release in 2009.
According to a press release by Focus Features, who has worldwide rights, shooting began in Madrid, Spain in February. The new film is the story of a mysterious loner (to be played by Isaach De Bankolé, in his fourth collaboration with Jarmusch), a stranger, whose activities remain meticulously outside the law. He is in the process of completing a job, yet he trusts no one, and his objectives are not initially divulged. The film is set in the striking and varied landscapes of contemporary Spain (both urban and otherwise).
Joining De Bankolé are Hiam Abbass (Munich and Paradise Now); Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries); Paz De La Huerta (The Guitar); Alex Descas (of the "No Problem" segment of Coffee and Cigarettes); John Hurt; Youki Kudoh (Mystery Train); Bill Murray; Jean-François Stévenin (Brotherhood of the Wolf and The Man on the Train); Tilda Swinton; and Luis Tosar (Miami Vice).
Stacey Smith, who has worked with Jarmusch for over a decade, and Gretchen McGowan (who co-produced the filmmaker's Coffee and Cigarettes) are producing the new film. Award-winning cinematographer Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love) is the film's director of photography; Eugenio Caballero (Pan's Labryinth), is the film's production designer. The filmmaker's longtime collaborator Jay Rabinowitz will edit the feature. Jon Kilik (Babel) is executive-producing the film, continuing his association with Jarmusch.
I'll post any news here as I chance upon them.
For what it's worth: at the closing ceremeny of Downbeach Film Festival in Philadelphia on Sunday (August 10), Jim Jarmusch was given the inaugural DBFF INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING ICON award.
(Closing night also meant the East Coast premiere of Mark Webber's "Explicit Ills", a movie for which Jarmusch has served as one of the executive producers.)
More info here.