Tangy No Garlic

There is nothing you can write that accurately summarizes the experience of enduring Jim Jarmusch's The Limits of Control. It's aimless and yet seems to be heading somewhere, pointless and yet contemplative (for some weird reason, I kept wondering if we had any dill pickles left in the fridge. I didn't want any, I just wanted to know that if I did, they were there), beautiful yet vapid, vinegary and yet crisp. I regret the 116 minutes it took to watch it and yet I'm not unhappy that I've seen it. It's the cinematic equivalent of setting your clock ahead two hours. I broke for a smoke about an hour in and checked the fridge for any Bick's garlic baby dills, but couldn't see any. I was almost certain we'd picked some up a couple of weeks back. One of the small skinny jars. It's a big fridge.... maybe too big.

The pickle mystery unsolved, I returned to the film and rejoined the stoic Isaach De Bankole on his silent Spanish travelogue. He was getting another secret message in a matchbox, this time from John Hurt. Strange, pickles are just little cucumbers and yet I've only even seen the bigger variety, never the little guys. Do they sell those little bastards I wonder? Bankole changes his cool suit whenever he gets to a new station. They're kinda like vegetable veal when you think about it – tiny baby cucumbers. It's a little sad. We assume the Spanish journey will end with an assassination or something like that. By the time the naked girl is dead, I'm driven mad with trying to remember what might have happened to that jar of Bicks.

I murmured out loud whether they might be in the pantry. Donna stirs and asks me what I'd said.

“Nothing.... I'll be right back”. I jump up and scamper down to check the pantry.

There they were! Behind the olive oil. I bring it down and note that the label says they're “Tangy, No Garlic”

Fuck...... I hate Tangy No Garlic. At least they're baby dills and not those giant fuckers.

I race back upstairs to rejoin the movie and arrive just in time for Bill Murray...... I lean over and ask Donna if she meant to get Tangy No Garlic pickles.

She just looks at me. “What?!? she says ...a little annoyed.

I mention that I much prefer the garlic ones.

….Just so she knows for next time.

Bill gets garroted.


the coelacanth said...

loved it. it's in my top 10 of the year. oh, and congrats on learning how to label your posts.

La Sporgenza said...

Really?.... I don't disagree that there's something going on in The Limits of Control, but top 10?...like for the month or the whole year? My pickle review was jokey but I was trying to make the point that there just didn't seem to have enough meat on its minimalist bones to warrant 116 minutes of running time and my mind ended up wandering. Not that it ultimately needed to have a point (it is Jarmusch after all) but I'm not sure the journey itself with all its repetitive cycles, visuals and dialogue provided enough to the audience. As an exercise in style (Doyle's cinematography was fantastic) and cool, the film worked but its narrative arch seemed too slight to push it much past a short.

Niki Diamonds said...

Buy your own pickles

Britarded said...

Having finally gotten around to watching this one I can say your post makes much more sense and was a lot funnier. Consider me impaled firmly on the fence. Frankly, I have no idea what happened, kind of like after Synecdoche. Lots of references to reality and the imagination, 1000's of symbolic gestures to be over analysed, I don't know where to start. I think in a few years it might suddenly dawn on me what it all means but for now I'm in the dark.

Britarded said...

Regardless, stylistically it's immense.