From the mouth of Jim Jarmusch comes this quote (slightly edited) from the 2005 DVD release of Broken Blossoms from the bonus feature entitled “Farmhouse”:
I like to make scenes thatâ€”where you have no idea whatâ€™s gonna happen next. Itâ€™s not a formula, you know? The most beautiful, deep things in our lives are not rational. Theyâ€™re usually emotional or theyâ€™re connections with other people, and those things are very mysterious. Things donâ€™t happen in a rational way. They happen in more of an emotional way or a random way or by molecules in the universe moving in a way we donâ€™t control, you know?
I just have a real problem when it comes to analyzing or comparing my films with each other. I never look at them once Iâ€™ve seen them with a paying audience. Itâ€™s not my job to even know what they mean. My job is to make them. And an audience receiving them, their interpretation is way more valuable to me than my own. I canâ€™t see a film for the first time that I made, you know, and thatâ€™s the beauty of cinema. I donâ€™t want people to feel despair or tragic at the end. I also donâ€™t want them to feel like itâ€™s a lightâ€”just a light romantic thing and, okay, letâ€™s go get a pizza. Iâ€™d like â€˜em to carry that moment around somewhere in them. That would make me happy, if they did that.
The film has elements of Noir: the private investigative, existentialist protagonist; at least one femme fatale; and a mystery to be solved (or, perhaps, never to be solved). I liked the photography by Frederick Elmes, who highlights a visual motif of randomly appearing pink objects of dubious significance. The music, including plenty of Ethiopian jazz, combines with these visuals to lend the film a unique and interesting atmosphere.