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Les Variations Jarmusch

Esther Heboyan

Partie II. Une esthétique de l’énigme : rêve ou réalité ? / The aesthetics of enigma : dream or reality ?

Audiovisual enclosures in Jim jarmusch’s The Limits of Control

Nepomuk Zettl

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“The ineffable element of the dream within”

On April 29, 2006, Tilda Swinton gave a speech at the 49th San Francisco Film Festival on the state of cinema. On the occasion of the annual address, she did not deliver a flaming talk on the industry, but read a letter to her son, who had recently asked her – at the symbolic age of eight and a half – “what people’s dreams were like before the cinema was invented”1.

Swinton, struggling with a reply to this intricate question, elaborated so eloquently on the comparison of dream and film that Jim Jarmusch took up lines from her speech and adapted them in his 2009 film The Limits of Control2. The following passage is taken from the very heart of the letter:

Film is the art-form through which time becomes material. Now more than ever, perhaps, we need its possibilities and the sincerity of its witness. In this period where we are attacking and dismantling time itself through our fascination with the virtual and with the simultaneous, we now long ...


University of Zurich

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