With Dead Man, his first period piece, Jim Jarmusch imagined the nineteenth-century American West as an existential wasteland, delivering a surreal reckoning with the ravages of industrialization, the country’s legacy of violence and prejudice, and the natural cycle of life and death. Accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) has hardly arrived in the godforsaken outpost of Machine before he’s caught in the middle of a fatal lovers’ quarrel. Wounded and on the lam, Blake falls under the watch of the outcast Nobody (Gary Farmer), who guides his companion on a spiritual journey, teaching him to dispense poetic justice along the way. Featuring austerely beautiful black-and-white photography by Robby Müller and a live-wire score by Neil Young, Dead Man is a profound and unique revision of the western genre.Read More »
A Japanese couple obsessed with 1950s America goes to Memphis because the male half of the couple emulates Carl Perkins. Chance encounters link three different stories in the city, with the common thread being the seedy hotel where they are all staying.Read More »
In Jersey City, an African American hit man follows “Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai.” He lives alone, in simplicity with homing pigeons for company, calling himself Ghost Dog. His master, who saved his life eight years ago, is part of the local mob. When the boss’ daughter witnesses one of Ghost Dog’s hits, he becomes expendable. The first victims are his birds, and in response, Ghost Dog goes right at his attackers but does not want to harm his master or the young woman. On occasion, he talks with his best friend, a French-speaking Haitian who sells ice cream in the park, and with a child with whom he discusses books. Can he stay true to his code? And if he does, what is his fate?Read More »
Two years before Jim Jarmusch obtained studio backing for the release of his cult hit Stranger than Paradise, he concocted this independent study of a young man named Allie (Chris Parker) who wanders around Manhattan. He runs into a few friends and strangers on the street and discusses Charlie Parker. He visits his institutionalized mother. He drops in on his girlfriend. If this seems a little erratic, it is, but Jarmusch has a way of working miracles from such material. — John VoorheesRead More »
Jonathan Rosenbaum Review:
When we speak of “seriousness” in fiction ultimately we are talking about an attitude toward death. –Thomas Pynchon
Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, a disturbing, mysterious black-and-white western, opens with someone named William Blake (Johnny Depp), a recently orphaned accountant from Cleveland, traveling west on a train with the promise of a job at a metal works in a town called Machine. He keeps dozing off and waking to new sets of fellow passengers, including several who fire their guns out the windows at a herd of buffalo. (Such occurrences were common in the 1870s, encouraged by the government as a means of wiping out Indians by eliminating one of their staples; in 1875, over a million buffalo were slaughtered.)Read More »
The new movie written and directed by Jim Jarmusch is a total fantasy. This in spite of being shot on the streets of the New Jersey city in which it is set, and for which the movie itself and its lead character are named. It’s as much of a fantasy as Jean Cocteau’s “Orpheus,” another great film about a poet that was at least partially set in the “real” contemporary world. It’s maybe not as much of a fantasy as the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.Read More »
An in-depth look at the legendary punk band, The Stooges.Read More »
A collection of five stories involving cab drivers in five different cities. Los Angeles – A talent agent for the movies discovers her cab driver would be perfect to cast, but the cabbie is reluctant to give up her solid cab driver’s career. New York – An immigrant cab driver is continually lost in a city and culture he doesn’t understand. Paris – A blind girl takes a ride with a cab driver from the Ivory Coast and they talk about life and blindness. Rome – A gregarious cabbie picks up an ailing man and virtually talks him to death. Helsinki – an industrial worker gets laid off and he and his compatriots discuss the bleakness and unfairness of love and life and death.Read More »
The Limits of Control is the new movie from filmmaker Jim Jarmusch (Broken Flowers, Down by Law).
The film is set in the striking and varied landscapes of contemporary Spain (both urban and otherwise).
The location shoot there united the writer/director with acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle
(In the Mood for Love, Paranoid Park).
Isaach De Bankolé stars in the lead role for Mr.
Jarmusch; this marks the duos fourth collaboration over nearly two decades, following Night on Earth,
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and Coffee and Cigarettes.
The Limits of Control also features several other actors with whom Mr.
Jarmusch has previously worked, including Alex Descas, John Hurt, Youki Kudoh, Bill Murray, and Tilda Swinton;
and actors new to his films, including Hiam Abbass, Gael García Bernal,
Paz De La Huerta, Jean-François Stévenin, and Luis Tosar.
The Limits of Control is the story of a mysterious loner (played by Mr. De Bankolé),
a stranger, whose activities remain meticulously outside the law. He is in the process of completing a job,
yet he trusts no one, and his objectives are not initially divulged.
His journey, paradoxically both intently focused and dreamlike,
takes him not only across Spain but also through his own consciousness.
Read More »