There are a lot of interesting things going on in David Denby's New Yorker review of Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers. First things first: he introduces a new word into my personal lexicographic arsenal, "mashers" - according to Dictionary.com, "A man who attempts to force his attentions on a woman." Nice.

But then there's this point he makes about the women in Jarmusch's films. Unlike the male protagonists of his films, Denby writes, the women "don’t suffer the burden of trying to be cool," and, as such, "have always been more alive than his men." And when you rattle off Jarmusch's films, with the exception of Winona Ryder in Night on Earth, this does seem to be the case. There's a common problem of excessive standoffish-ness amongst Jarmusch's male leads, and when you see it running through film to film, it does make it difficult to figure out why you should care. Broken Flowers ultimately strikes Denby as "an art object without the energy or courage to be a work of art." He makes films interested in surface, to be sure, but is it too much to reduce Jarmusch's work to the level of decoration?
categories Movies, Cinematical