September 15, 2005
Various artists, Soundtrack to Broken Flowers
For a movie that uses
words so sparingly, Broken Flowers surprises by being just as minimalist
with its music.
Jazz artist Mulatu
Astake’s cool, minor-key instrumentals are the only sound during several
solitary scenes of Bill Murray’s character’s travels from one
ex-girlfriend to another. Songs like “There Is An End” and “Tell Me Now
so I Know” from Holly Golightly provide an equally sleek retro note that
is as full of opaque meaning as the movie itself. Only “Not if You Were
the Last Dandy on Earth” by Brian Jonestown Massacre breaks the tone
with aggression only hinted at elsewhere. “Requiem. OP. 48” performed by
Oxford Camerata gives us the other end of the spectrum — the deep well
of emotion that Murray’s character never once gives us more than a
slight hint of.
Viewing Jim Jarmusch’s
quirky, quiet movie isn’t necessary to enjoy this equally oddball
soundtrack. But one certainly makes you an even bigger fan of the other.