Making nothing happen: the transition from reactive nihilism to affirmation in Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers (2005)
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Backman Rogers, Anna
Film Studies, University College Cork
This article draws from Gilles Deleuze’s interpretation of the Nietzschean concept of “the eternal return” in order to read Jim Jarmusch’s film Broken Flowers as being not merely a study in duration, apathy and reactive nihilism, but also a film which, through its formal repetitive structure, also offers pathways to transformation and affirmation. As such, I argue that the central protagonist, Don Johnston undergoes a subtle yet crucial change in the course of the film from a state of ressentiment to affirmation and becoming. I also characterise the film as an absurdist quest or road movie.
Broken Flowers , Road movie , The eternal return , The affirmative life , Gilles Deleuze , Bill Murray , Existential dilemmas , Ethical dilemmas
Backman Rogers, A. (2011) 'Making nothing happen: the transition from reactive nihilism to affirmation in Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers (2005)', Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 2 (Winter 2011). 10.33178/alpha.2.06
© 2011, the Author(s)