Precious Bodily Fluids

Broken Flowers


To the tune of a free-floating yet extremely repetitive (and fitting) jazz soundtrack, Bill Murray seems to inhabit a parallel and somehow intersecting character in Broken Flowers with that of Bob in Lost In Translation. The thematic and imagistic intersection within Broken Flowers takes place when the pink he finds everywhere becomes revealed as absurdity when he falls prey to a cardinal sin in Jim Jarmusch’s universe: reading meaning into the incidental. Let the world flow, let colors be colors and potential sons be potential sons. Jeffrey Wright’s character, an informal Sam Spade, persuades “Don Johnston” to embark on a filial quest on the basis of the rationale, “You have to live your life.” Johnston’s response, “I was living my life,” cop-out though it may be, has a ring of truth to it. Cinematically, the story is a welcome change from the common point-of-view of son-looking-for-dad. Without the wide-open future and search for missing identity, Murray’s character begins burnt out but ends with a changed perspective. The film began with us watching him watch TV; it ends with him looking straight at the viewer, demanding or begging with humiliated desperation for answers and forgiveness.


This entry was published on February 8, 2009 at 9:24 pm. It’s filed under 2000s Cinema, American film, Jim Jarmusch and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Broken Flowers

  1. Pingback: Play it Again: The Limits of Control « Precious Bodily Fluids

  2. Pingback: The Limey: Pulp Non-fiction « Precious Bodily Fluids

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