Jim Jarmusch

"A true American independent director, Jim Jarmusch's off-beat, mocking, minimalist films have explored the American Dream through an interplay of outsiders, whether American or "strangers in a strange land." - Ronald Bergan (Eyewitness Companions: Film, 2006)

Jim Jarmusch

Director / Screenwriter / Actor / Producer / Editor / Composer
(1953- ) Born January 22, Akron, Ohio, USA
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Countries: USA, Japan, Germany, France
Key Genres: Comedy, Road Movie, Urban Comedy, Drama, Buddy Film, Crime, Crime Drama
Key Collaborators: Jay Rabinowitz (Editor), Robby Müller (Cinematographer), Melody London (Editor), Isaach De Bankole (Leading Character Actor), John Lurie (Composer/Leading Character Actor), Frederick Elmes (Cinematographer), Tom DiCillo (Cinematographer), Roberto Benigni (Leading Character Actor), Tilda Swinton (Leading Character Actress), John Hurt (Character Actor), Bill Murray (Character Actor), Cinque Lee (Leading Actor)

"The key to Jarmusch’s success is a well-defined and thoughtfully conceived stylistic approach and a coherent circle of interests. The focal point of all Jarmusch’s work is the apparent contradiction that exists between the popular perception of the American Dream and what that dream actually holds for the individual who doesn’t quite fit in. This contradiction is explored through the interaction of a characteristic ensemble of characters... Like other emerging filmmakers of his generation, such as Spike Lee, Jim Jarmusch approaches the American way of life with a sense of hip cynicism. A product of contemporary American film school savvy, Jarmusch incorporates a sense of film history, style, and awareness in his filmmaking approach. The tradition which he has chosen to follow, the one which offers him the most freedom, is that established by filmmakers such as Chabrol, Godard, and Truffaut in the 1950s and 1960s." - Rob Winning (updated by Rob Edelman) (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 2000)
"Blighted landscapes, both urban and rural, form the backcloths to his stories, in which alienated protagonists stare glumly out of the screen until their nemesis, or their destiny arrives. Innovative but rarely entertaining, Jarmusch's films form the back of beyond of American life: a slice of life, yes, but one quite alien to ordinary people." - David Quinlan (Quinlan's Film Directors, 1999)
"Jarmusch's elliptical, dedramatised, episodic narrative style is symptomatic of his restlessly experimental interest in the method and structure of cinematic storytelling. Crucially, however, this interest in formalism - which makes him unlikely to ever join the Hollywood mainstream - is balanced by subtle wit, the warmth he clearly feels for his characters and a bemused, intelligent interest in the unfamiliar backroads of American life, so that he remains one of the most accessible, original and influential of that country's independent film-makers." - Geoff Andrew (The Director's Vision, 1999)
"Jarmusch has a rare feeling for urban desolation, for loneliness, and the sweet, whimsical overlap of chance and companionship. It is gentle, offbeat, and poignant - but does it make whole films? And does it really make a marriage of Jarmusch's leaning toward raw pop culture and SoHo modishness?" - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002)
"With his shock of white hair and droll demeanor, Jim Jarmusch has long been one of the most recognizable faces of U.S. independent cinema. Yet the director himself has often pointed to fellow filmmakers such as Yasujiro Ozu and Jean-Pierre Melville as primary influences in addition to such domestic icons as Samuel Fuller. Indeed, Jarmusch's films reflect a pan-global mindset that deftly merges the pop cultural highs and lows of international cinema, with life in general." - Joshua Klein (501 Movie Directors, 2007)
"Something of a loner himself, Jarmusch revels in the idiosyncrasies of alienation, and enjoys dropping visual and verbal quotes from his favourite directors inside the fabric of his films." - Mario Reading (The Movie Companion, 2006)
"I always start with characters rather than with a plot, which many critics would say is very obvious from the lack of plot in my films - although I think they do have plots - but the plot is not of primary importance to me, the characters are." - Jim Jarmusch
TSPDT Guide
Recommended
Stranger Than Paradise (1984) , Down by Law (1986) , Mystery Train (1989), Night on Earth (1991), Dead Man (1995) , Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), Coffee and Cigarettes (2003), Broken Flowers (2005) , The Limits of Control (2009)
Worth a Look
Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet (2002) [also directed by Chen Kaige, Victor Erice, Werner Herzog, Aki Kaurismäki, Spike Lee & Wim Wenders], Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
Approach with Caution
Permanent Vacation (1980)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
Jim Jarmusch / Favourite Films
L'Atalante (1934) Jean Vigo, Bob le flambeur (1955) Jean-Pierre Melville, Broken Blossoms (1919) D.W. Griffith, The Cameraman (1928) Buster Keaton & Edward Sedgwick, Mouchette (1966) Robert Bresson, Rome, Open City (1945) Roberto Rossellini, Seven Samurai (1954) Akira Kurosawa, Sunrise (1927) F.W. Murnau, They Live by Night (1948) Nicholas Ray, Tokyo Story (1953) Yasujiro Ozu.
Source: Sight & Sound (2002)
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    Dead Man
    comments powered by Disqus