Friday, August 28, 2009

The Limits of Control

The Limits of Control / The Limits of  Control [boringly, there are no Finnish and Swedish-language titles for the film]. ES/US/JP (c) 2008 PointBlank Film. P: Gretchen McGowan, Stacey E. Smith. D+SC: Jim Jarmusch. DP: Christopher Doyle - negative: 35 mm (Fuji Eterna 400T 8583) - digital intermediate (looks like 2K) - colour: DeLuxe - print: 35 mm. PD: Eugenio Caballero. M: Boris. Music Editor: Jay Rabinowitz. LOC: Spain. CAST: Isaach De Bankolé (Lone Man), Alex Descas (Creole), Jean-Francois Stévenin (French), Oscar Jaenada (Waiter), Luis Tosar (Violin), Paz de la Huerta (Nude), Tilda Swinton (Blonde), Youki Kudoh (Molecules), John Hurt (Guitar), Gael García Bernal (Mexican), Hiam Abbass (Driver), Bill Murray (American). 115 min. A Nordisk Film Theatrical Distribution Finland release with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Marko Hartama / Hannele Vahtera. Viewed at Kinopalatsi 7, Helsinki, 28 Aug 2009 (the first public screening).

A digital intermediate look. - Jim Jarmusch belongs to the artists whose new film I always look forward to. - This is a new poem of urban solitude, of coffee and matchboxes. - It's another Jean-Pierre Melville homage, like The Ghost Dog. - It's about another lonely wanderer like Dead Man. - That was related to William Blake, this one to Arthur Rimbaud. - Keywords include: cool - mystery - silence. - The urban poetry has links with Antonioni and Wong Kar-Wai. - Motifs include: recurring phrases - two cups of espresso - two Boxeurs matchboxes (red and blue) - codes on small paper pieces that get swallowed - helicopters - paintings at the Reine Sofia - keys - empty apartments - tai-chi (?) movements - no mobiles. - The story is apparently about organized high-level diamond smuggling and an assignment given to Isaach De Bankolé to execute the top boss (Bill Murray). - Sex: "never while I'm working". Paz de la Huerta makes the temptation as irresistible as can be with her nude performance, with her delicious buttocks, delicious breasts, and delicious areolae. - The score and the soundtrack are brilliant, with modern rhythm music, flamenco, and Schubert. - The cinematography by Christopher Doyle is excellent, but unfortunately the film has gone through the digital process. - The film is an elliptic poem that consists of painterly scenes. I look forward to revisiting it.

The Limits of Control (Pressbook)

Q&A with writer/director Jim Jarmusch

Q: The first thing we see in this movie is the quote from Rimbaud, as a jumping-off point; it points out that this character is going on a journey. Was that quote an inspiration for you in conceiving The Limits of Control?

Jim Jarmusch: I did want a jumping-off point, or, more accurately, a boat getting pushed out from the shore. But I didn’t think of putting the quote on until the film was finished, so it wasn’t an initial inspiration. And the fact is, though, that “Le Bâteau Ivre,” as a poem, is a kind of metaphor for the derangement of the senses; an intentional disorientation of perception. So it’s probably most pertinent at the very end of the film. The film’s title comes from an essay [“The Limits of Control”] that William S. Burroughs wrote in the 1970s. The essay is mostly about language as a control mechanism; “words are still the principal instruments of control. Suggestions are words. Persuasions are words. Orders are words. No control machine so far devised can operate without words, and any control machine which attempts to do so relying entirely on external force or entirely on physical control of the mind will soon encounter the limits of control.” While that inspired me to think about how we perceive things and how they are attempted to be controlled, I didn’t use the essay directly for the film’s content but I did use the title.

Q: Were there any movie inspirations? Tilda Swinton’s character mentions a few titles overtly, and viewers might be put in mind of Antonioni…

JJ: It was more of, 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? [laughs] Antonioni looms large in my subconscious, so he’s probably in there, but I wasn’t thinking of 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 drifted through my head, in terms of finding a style rather than imitating these movies.

Most important, probably, was Point Blank; we named our production company PointBlank Films. Chris Doyle, Eugenio Caballero, and I studied Point Blank. Not in terms of its rhythm, but stylistically; frames within frames, objects framed by doors or windows or archways, shots that intentionally confuse as to what is exterior and what is interior due to reflective surfaces.

Point Blank is based on a novel by Donald Westlake, whom we just lost; he wrote a series of books under the name Richard Stark. These novels – which are being reissued now, with introductions to some of them by my friend Luc Sante – are all crime fiction about a character named Parker; for legal reasons, it was changed to Walker in Point Blank, in which Lee Marvin plays him. Parker is a professional criminal and he is very,

very controlled; when he’s on a job, he will not be distracted by sex, by alcohol, by any kind of diversions. What happens in all these stories is, other people around him always f—k up, and he’s left in some chaotic situation that is antithetical to his own meticulous procedure. It’s a fascinating character. So these books were a big influence, although I didn’t go back and re-read any of them. The character in the books and in Point Blank was always connected, in my mind, to how the character in this film came out.

Q: Did you think of Isaach De Bankolé from the first? You’ve worked with him three times prior, and he has such a powerful presence...

JJ: Yeah, from when I started writing, because for some years, I had had the idea that I wanted to make a film with Isaach in which he would be a quiet, strong character who would be on some kind of mission under the radar.

In addition to the title and the idea of working with Isaach on this kind of character, The Limits of Control came about as certain things started collecting; I was gathering things all the time for this film.

Q: Such as?

JJ: For example, Joe Strummer had a house outside of Almería, in San Jose. After Joe died, his widow Lucinda told me, “There’s a weird house on this road we live on. Every time we’d drive by, Joe would say, ‘We’ve gotta show Jim this house, he’s gonna use it in a film.’ But we forgot and never told you, so here’s a picture of this house that Joe wanted you to be aware of.” So that is actually the house where the Bill Murray character is encountered.

I had wanted to film anyway in Spain; my longtime friend Chema Prado, who was our cultural advisor on The Limits of Control and is the director of the Spanish Cinematheque, has an apartment in that amazing building in Madrid, Torres Blancas. I’d first visited him there 20 years ago at least. That building is from the late 1960s, and I’d always wondered why people hadn’t filmed much there. We finally filmed in one of the apartments, though not Chema’s – it was an empty one, which we dressed. So, piecing all this together and with Sevilla also in mind, I began to visualize everything in Spain.

Aside from the Spain setting and writing for Isaach, I had known Paz De La Huerta for some years, and at one point Isaach told me that they had now done three or four films together. So I thought, “How come I haven’t used them together?” and wrote that part for Paz.

This script began as a 25-page story, and I expanded it as we made the film. This was my intention from the beginning; to let the thing grow, and not have a traditional script. So we were always working with our antennae up, always ready to reconsider something or let the film take us in a specific direction. Our production designer, Eugenio, was very open to that, too, that things might change. It was not, “Here’s what the scene is on paper, let’s realize it;” it was, “Here’s the sketch of it, what does it evoke – any new ideas for

the object or anything?” And Chris Doyle is, of course, a master of this; of following instincts.

This was an unusual process for me, because I usually do have a pretty good map of a script to start with. This was a more minimal map with no dialogue, really, at first. I wrote the dialogue sequences as we went along.

Q: That’s not without precedent among filmmakers. Blake Edwards did the same thing once or twice in his career…

JJ: …and Wim Wenders and others have started filming off of a 2-page treatment. But I did have the scenes written, and stayed close to them in terms of the structure; what was within those scenes is what developed.

When I was writing the 25-page story, I was also thinking of – and I mentioned this director before – early Jacques Rivette films, which incorporate the idea of a conspiracy that’s hard to pinpoint and seems to grow entropically. At the end of some of these films, you understand the conspiracy less than you did earlier on, because it’s grown out of control.

Q: Turning from the story to the visuals, in terms of figuring out certain shots beforehand – or, not – did you do storyboarding and extensive location scouting?

JJ: I never do storyboarding; more and more, on my last few films, I don’t use a shot list at all. So on this film, the location scouting was extremely important; I went to all the locations, first alone and then with Chris Doyle.

He saw the locations and we started talking in a more general way about some movements of the camera and the way we saw the story being told. The locations would give us new ideas; when scouting, Chris is constantly disappearing down side streets, manically taking photographs. Some of those relate to the film he’s working on, and some of those relate to these ongoing incredible collages that he makes. His mind is always racing.

We often had ideas for shots, and we would sketch scenes with a digital camera, but rarely would we end up using that same shot in the film. Before we started shooting, Chris and I met for two weeks at a time over a period of several months and let ideas swirl around as we talked and talked and talked.

Chris and I have known each other for years and always talked about working together on a feature. We worked together a few years ago on a music video for Jack White’s band The Raconteurs, for their first single “Steady as She Goes.”

Q: Was the video in black-and-white?

JJ: No, it was in color and some of it was shot using Super 8 but a lot of it was shot with very primitive digital cameras made for children. They ran about 8 frames per second, so there was a stutter to the images.

Q: So you went from that to this movie, which is flooded with color showcasing Spain. Was it your intention to get the Spain you saw and had been seeing up on screen?

JJ: Whatever impression comes to your eyes, anyone else will have a different one. All films are subjective in terms of how you’re looking at or seeing a place, so it’s a little hard for me to respond to that.

We didn’t want an oversaturated look, yet we wanted the color values of the places to be present – though more enhanced by the framing than by something technical. We did use Fujifilm because of its color balance; Chris has written an essay about this, detailing, for example, how red against green is subtly yet perceptibly different on different film materials, and how one’s eyes respond differently depending on factors like cultural experience. Chris and I discussed color values and one’s emotional response to them.

During the shoot, I realized that Chris was, in our interiors, lighting for shadows rather than the lit places. This was a reversal of the perception of positive vs. negative space; in Japan, for example, where one sits on the floor, then the room is perceived as a positive space and the surfaces of tables and chairs in a room are negative space. Then Western perception suggests the opposite.

It’s also this concept; in Asia, if you see a painting of a boat on an ocean, the boat is often very small and the ocean is very large. In Western paintings, most often the ocean is peripherally engulfing the boat, and the boat central to the composition.

Q: Did you find yourselves getting lost in the imagery?

JJ: In some ways. We tried to retain an innocent ability to get transported by what was around us, rather than purely analytically doing our job. Of course, we still had to make sure the film was cutting together, and I worried about dialogue and good takes with actors.

The natural landscapes in the south of Spain that Isaach’s character walks through were very strange and magical places for us. Sevilla is one of my favorite cities in the world, and I’ve always been enchanted by it; I remember going there for the first time around 1980 with Fab Five Freddy, and then, the night we got back to New York City, I turned the television on and Orson Welles was being interviewed on a talk show. He was asked, you’ve been all around the world but what is your favorite city? Without hesitation, Welles said, “Hands down, Sevilla.” I think he’s buried somewhere just outside the city.

The city is always just so visual; the twisting curves of narrow streets, and the architectural details…they have balconies everywhere, and even the underside of the

balconies – only visible to someone on the street, looking up – are ornately tiled. The tile work on the staircase of the apartment where Isaach’s character stays in Sevilla is just extraordinary.

When something is visually striking to Chris, he has this childlike enthusiasm and excitement. His eyes light up. It was infectious. I’m normally very controlling of the framing in my films, and I always work closely with the DPs. There’s something in Chris’ work and mind that has a plasticity to it; I don’t know how to explain it, but the framing is stretched and is a little less rigid than my own perception. To work with him, it was important that I loosen my own rigidity and let the DP work with less restraint than maybe on my previous collaborations. Chris has a little more of a wild streak in considering the dynamics of a shot.

Q:  How did that play out during filming?

JJ: Often we would get to a scene and I would say, “Here’s how I see shooting it,” and Chris would only be interested in the first shot; the rest of it, he’d say, “Eh, I don’t want to think about that.” He would then find an angle that was often not exactly where I would have placed the camera; 90% of the time, it was better than what I would have thought of. Chris works incredibly fast, too; we could never have made The Limits of Control on our schedule without Chris’ speed.

Q: How do you mean?

JJ: We did an average of about two dozen setups a day. I think one day we did 35.

Q: Usually, you can only achieve that many setups these days if you’re on HD…

JJ: Yeah, or if you’re insane, which is how we felt. Shooting on HD would have brought us a different movie but with similar elements. For the painterly feeling we were trying to get, our preferred medium was 35mm and our specific film stock and lenses. We never thought about shooting it in any other way, so we weren’t making comparisons.

Q: The sensory moments that film stock engenders are everywhere. There was also a feeling of “I shall never pass through this room again,” not only for Isaach’s character moving inexorably forward but also for the film progressing with him as a whole. Did that ever enter your sensibilities?

JJ: Chris and I talked about it more in terms of “This is the first time I’m looking at this.” In a contradictory way, that’s the same as “I shall never pass through this room again.” We were definitely aware of that, because for us the film is about the way we see things. We were always saying that we were hoping to create something sensorial for the audience; that when you leave the theater, for the way you look at an object, even if only temporarily, to be new in a way. The way you look at a mundane cup of coffee on a table, or at the light shifting in a room you’re sitting in.

William Blake is one of my heroes, and for him the imagination was his religion. It’s the most powerful gift that humans have, imagining things, whether in science or whatever form of expression.

How each individual person sees the world, and their consciousness in it, is subjective; each individual person has the choice to avoid controls that have been established and perpetrated on us in terms of the meaning of something and how we receive that image.

Q: The museum scenes would seem to have the lead character doing just that…

JJ: He goes there and picks out only one painting each time. For me, if something moves me, I get flooded with it. So the idea was that he looks at everything in the way he looks at paintings. The way he watches the nude girl swimming in a pool. There’s a scene where there are pears on a plate, and I wanted that to look like a painting. The way he compares the Tower of Gold to a postcard. Even the moving landscapes, when he is traveling by train.

Q: So the museum visits are not separate from his aesthetic while on duty; the lines are blurred for him, or non-existent.

JJ: Yeah, I see it as continuous for him. It’s the modus operandi of his consciousness in the world. He believes that reality is arbitrary, and he says so near the end of the film. That viewpoint is also expressed at the beginning of the film by the Creole man.

Film is thought of as primarily a visual form, but this character’s consciousness extends to his perception of sounds; he strums that guitar, reacts to the helicopters…Sound and music are always extremely important to me, and in The Limits of Control maybe even more than in some of the other films I’ve made.

Q: Do you favor intuition and imagination over analysis in terms of making a film, and experiencing one?

JJ: Definitely. Rather than over-think it, why not let the film wash over you? Whatever impression comes to your eyes and ears, well, anyone else will have a different one.

There are people whose work I greatly respect whose strength is analysis over intuition. I don’t have that strength.

Q: The movie poster we see briefly features Tilda Swinton’s movie-loving character. Is this advancing the concept that everyone is the subject of his/her own movie…or painting?

JJ: The logic with the poster is more dreamlike. It’s also self-referential, and there are a few little meta moments, such as with Tilda’s character when she mentions liking in films where people sit together and don’t say anything, and she and Isaach’s character are

sitting there and not saying anything. In these moments, it’s being made more evident that you’re watching a film. But people can interpret all that in their own way.

Q: When you’re watching a film, you’re experiencing it for the first and perhaps only time.

JJ: Film is so directly related to music, because music passes before you in its own time signature, in its own moving landscape. It’s not like looking at a painting, it’s not like reading a book. Film and music are taking you along for a ride. There’s something about how film unfolds in your consciousness and in your emotional response that is inherently musical.

Q: In terms of relating film and music, on The Limits of Control your editor Jay Rabinowitz is once again your music editor as well.

JJ: We’ve been happy doing it that way for the last few films.

Q: You might never go back –

JJ: Likely not, as long as I’m working with Jay. On this movie, as on Broken Flowers, the music was pre-existing. But it’s not until Jay and I are in the editing room that we see what works where.

Q: So you haven’t pre-planned.

JJ: Well, I have a file of the music that I think is appropriate atmospherically for each film, and that has inspired me even before shooting. I pick the music, so there’s no music supervisor per se. Stacey Smith cleared all the rights. Jay’s very good at fitting it in, or editing it down, like when I say, “I want the beginning and end, but I don’t want that part of the middle.”

Q: What music was in your file this time?

JJ: When I was writing The Limits of Control, I was already imagining using some things from Boris and Sunn O))), and Earth and The Black Angels. I made Chris Doyle CDs so he could listen to Boris; you could categorize Boris as a psychedelic/noise/metal band, but they’re just so original.

Secondly, Schubert’s beautiful “Adagio” from his String Quintet I’ve always loved, so I wanted to work that in there.

For the third main element of the musical fabric of the film, I started researching different forms of flamenco. One, peteneras, was very striking to me. Strangely enough, it’s taboo among most flamenco musicians and gypsies; for complicated reasons, they think it’s bad luck. It’s a slow flamenco, so it’s like their version of the blues; it’s often about death, tragedy, lost love.

The peteneras song that we use in the film is “El que se tenga por grande,” the lyrics of which are also in dialogue throughout the film. In Madrid, once Chris and Eugenio and I saw La Truco, I knew I didn’t have to look any further for our flamenco dancer. She blew us away. I mentioned to her that there was tai chi in the film, and she told me that she teaches a class in “tai chi flamenco.” It’s more about the slow movement of the hands than the stomping of the feet. So she adopted that style for the petenera sequence, in collaboration with the singer Talegón de Córdoba and guitarist Jorge Rodriguez Padilla.

We also have a little piece of Manuel El Sevillano’s “[Por Compasión:] Malagueñas,” which was recorded on a wax cylinder in the 1920s. John Hurt’s character makes reference to it, but Isaach’s character hears it – leaking in through a window – while lying on a bed in Sevilla.

Q: So there is no original music in the film?

JJ: For the museum scenes and a few other little passages we couldn’t find music that we could shape properly, so our band, Bad Rabbit (Carter Logan and Shane Stoneback and I) created some original psychedelic drums-and-electric guitar music. Bad Rabbit is now working on a new record, not film music, but more trance-like psychedelic rock-n-roll.

As a filmmaker, I think of myself as responding more like a musician; I like to pick up a guitar, make some sounds, and see where they take me, rather than draft out something and memorize what I play. That’s how I’m trying to approach filmmaking; the characters always are, for me, the heart of the film, more than the plot. The actors are the instruments that carry the emotional content of the film. The stories are somewhat secondary.

Q: To that point, you’ve worked with several of the actors in The Limits of Control before, not only with Isaach.

JJ: Yes, I was writing with Isaach, Bill Murray, and Tilda Swinton in mind, and Paz as well. I imagined John Hurt, and wrote the guys in the airport specifically for Alex Descas and Jean-François Stévenin. Once actors committed, I wrote or re-wrote for them.

Q: Tilda Swinton looks so different in the movies she does with you –

JJ: [laughs] I have a fetish for Tilda; I love transforming her, and she’s real adaptable to that. She’s an amazing person to collaborate with. I’ve got some more up my sleeve, I hope, for her in the future.

Q: And Bill Murray always seems to have a consistent lack of vanity in his films for you. Is this something you and he talk about, not showing him as “Bill Murray?”

JJ: Well, he’s done that in other films, not just with me. But we don’t talk about that; Bill and I always talk around the character, to hone in on it. My thing with Bill is; I think he’s

one of our finest actors, and yet he’s carrying this big suitcase that reads “Bill Murray, Comic Genius.” People may think of him as broad, and he is hilarious when he does that, but he can be very subtle. So I’m always trying to get him into that place in his wide range.

Q: How much rehearsal do you do with actors?

JJ: I don’t like to rehearse scenes that we’re going to shoot, unless actors want to. I’d rather talk with the actors, or rehearse scenes that are not going to be in the film, with the actor in character so that we’re finding the character. Then we can roll the camera and they can react in-character without having over-prepared.

On The Limits of Control, we rehearsed Bill’s scene. The choreography is a little complicated, because it’s really the one time in the film where we start with a static or tracking camera and then move into handheld. It’s a break in the style, and there are also these lights in the scene that are harsh and ugly, and not painterly like the rest of the film.

What also happened was that Bill had never met John Hurt, whom he idolizes – as do I – and so he came to have lunch in Sevilla with John and me. Bill asked John about his process, and John said, “I’m like a violinist. You give me the piece of music, and I don’t want to change it, don’t want to rewrite it. I want to play what is written, and I want to play it in the best way that I can.” Bill and John were staying at the same hotel, and they ended up having breakfast every day together and became close. So Bill came to me and said, “I’ve been talking to John about this scene, and I really want to rehearse the text as written.” Now, Bill hadn’t diverged much from the text on Broken Flowers, but we hadn’t rehearsed the dialogue scenes on that. This time, I think he wanted to explore a different procedure.

Q: One has to mention Youki Kudoh, whom you last worked with – 20 years ago…!

JJ: It was fun to get to work with her again. Youki Kudoh is such a lovely actress, a beautiful woman and spirit. What’s self-referential is, she was in Mystery Train on a train and now I’ve brought her back on a train.

Mostly, the actors were in and out pretty quickly during the shoot, which was emotionally difficult for me because I get so attached to them. It was painful when Youki left, because she was only there for a few days.

Q: Do you feel that The Limits of Control touches on the theme – in your work – of how much or how little to actually engage in your life? In terms of being present, and in the moment? As in Dead Man, for instance?

JJ: I’m not a religious person, but with Dead Man and before that, with a film that Mika Kaurismäki made in the Amazon that I worked on [1994’s Tigrero: A Film That Was Never Made], I started opening myself up to different philosophies; certainly, to Buddhism, not in any disciplined way but philosophically. These started hitting

something inside me, the basic thing being that everything in the universe is one thing; and, the only thing we have is the present moment. There is a Buddhist Film Festival in Los Angeles, and I’m very happy that they have included Dead Man, Ghost Dog, and Broken Flowers.

Although I’m not a practicing Buddhist, as an extension of that philosophy I try to practice tai chi and qui gong, which is something that entered the film also. In the film, when Isaach’s character is performing tai chi to center himself, we take the sound away. That’s the feeling you have when you do tai chi, or yoga, or any kind of meditation that involves your breathing and your body movement; everything else in the world starts to fall away. You are focusing on your movements in that moment.

Q: Is there a lot of ambient sound in the movie? There didn’t seem to be…

JJ: There’s quite a lot of it, but it’s a very delicately built soundscape. I’ve worked with Bob Hein, our sound designer, and Dominick Tavella, our re-recording mixer, before. We wanted to give the film a richness of sound, but not in any ways that hammer you over the head. Almost like, “Did I hear that?” or “Did I even notice it?” So, maybe there not seeming to be is a good thing.

Q: In terms of the recurring dialogue and staging, were these meant to remind that this is, after all, a man working daily at his job?

JJ: It’s more that scenes recur as variants of each other, such as taking the train or going to the museum; Chris and I talked about the beauty of variations. Those are part of artistic expression; Bach uses certain themes over and over again and just varies them slightly, and in something so beautiful. Painting and visual arts, it’s their history. Storytelling is limitless variations. It’s the same with pop music, fashion, architecture…

The main repeated dialogue in the film is, of course, a code so that Isaach’s character knows he’s making contact. The same thing keeps happening, but it’s always a new person and a new place. He keeps having to pull the other person back to the business at hand, and they depart and he probably doesn’t see them again.

We tried to build things into the other characters, their own interests that revealed things about them; what they each talk about with Isaach’s character is part of the story’s progression towards that final discussion he has. At the end, he becomes more of an active character in the film, whereas until then he is more of a receptor – because he considers himself a professional. But even the end of the film is just a metaphor.

Q: In terms of knowing and working with Isaach as long as you have, how do you feel this film expanded your parameters together?

JJ: He’s an incredible actor and person and we’ve been friends for, I now realize, 25 years. I almost feel as if our friendship and our work together were building to this point, to have him carry a film in an intense way.

Some years ago, Isaach gave me two small passport-size photos of himself, taken one day apart. In one, he has a beard. Then he shaved it and had a photo taken the next day, and he looks like a completely different person. In Night on Earth, I put a Band-Aid on his forehead and that changed something about the shape of his face, which is like a beautiful series of planes.

One of the things I’ve always loved about him as an actor is that he doesn’t need to do big things; he can do tiny things that are very humanizing – you read him. He’s able to say so much with just a slight narrowing of his eyes, or a movement in the corner of his mouth. I wanted to capture that.

The way Isaach moves physically can be so animal-like and yet so purposeful. His body language contains strength and pride, and in The Limits of Control his character becomes expressive by Isaach’s not outwardly seeming to do anything.

Q: That’s why it’s all the more startling when he’s terse with the waiter early on –

JJ: That comes from Isaach; one time, years ago, I was in a café with him and he asked the waiter for two espressos, and the waiter brought him a double espresso, and Isaach flipped out – in French. It was a real incident, and I was saying, “Wow, you really want those two espressos,” and he responded, “I know what I want, I told him what I want, and that’s what I want.” That stayed with me.

(Jim Jarmusch interview in the pressbook of The Limits of Control)

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