Saturday, October 3, 2009

Jim Jarmusch - 10/05/09

Jim Jarmusch is an American Independent filmmaker who has achieved critical and popular recognition for his films made over the last 25 years. He has always worked outside the system of Hollywood, not because he is unwelcome but because he is unwilling to work within their guidelines and on any schedule other than his own. His initial interest was in literature, he first attended college for journalism and briefly attended Columbia with the intention of becoming a poet. After a ten month foray in Paris, Jarmusch returned to New York and applied to the Tisch School of the Arts. Although he had no experience with filmmaking he was accepted to the program and made his first film Permanent Vacation (1980) with money that was intended to pay his tuition.
Jarmusch is a minimalist filmmaker who is less interested in narrative and plot and works with mood and character to distinguish himself. He has experimented with different styles and genres but all of his films are permeated with dark humor, drifting protagonists, long silences and still shots. He allows his characters to say a lot (especially when Roberto Benigni plays a part) but much of what his films say exists in the spaces where the dialog is spare or non-existent; his characters non-verbal responses to one another are very telling.

clip from Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)

clip from Night On Earth (1991)

clip from Down By Law (1986)

clip from Jarmusch's first film: Permanent Vacation (1980)

link to an interview with Jim Jarmusch, discussing his latest film: The Limits of Control (2009)

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