The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Jim Jarmusch Day


‘Back in the mid-80s, Jim Jarmusch was the last word in cinema chic, the coolest kid on the independent-movie block. Sixteen years and seven feature films later, Jarmusch stands as the last of a dying breed, defender of the purist faith. His newer films are packed with the genre tricks and mordant humour that have characterised all his output. But after drifting, unloved and unappreciated, in a cinematic limbo for most of the 90s, the world has started, once again, seeing things Jarmusch’s way.

‘His appearance only adds to the effect. Now 47, Jarmusch is practically identical to the Ohio-born, NYU-educated hipster who used his $12,000 film school scholarship money to make his first low-budget feature, Permanent Vacation. His second, Stranger Than Paradise, cost even less.

‘Jarmusch’s trademark upswept silver hairdo is perfectly in place; keen eyes ever eager to communicate some heartfelt idea; slow voice measuring out the words. “One thing that flipped me out,” he says, “when we made Stranger, we were very conscious that it was 1982. Though it was post punk, style was still very rock’n’roll. We lived in that milieu in New York, but we wanted characters who weren’t connected with that. We wanted them to look more like guys you’d see at the racetrack. And then two years later everyone started dressing like that. It’s funny how things happen.”

‘Funny, indeed. Between 1984 and 1989, Jarmusch spearheaded the independent film movement, alongside Spike Lee and Michael Moore, with a trilogy of perfectly executed, thoroughly individual films. Stranger Than Paradise, Down By Law, and Mystery Train all shared a three-part structure, a wistful nostalgia for American pulp culture, and a downbeat, low-key narrative style borrowed from European and Japanese models. Jarmusch – in contrast to Lee’s playful promotion of African-American consciousness, and Moore’s self-help political radicalism – definitely occupied the high end of 80s alternative film-making, purveyor of an unflappable existential world-weariness that heralded the rise of a new wave of American auteurism.

‘These days, however, Jarmusch is reluctant to dwell on past glories. “I don’t look back,” he says. “Especially not at my own work. I don’t know why. It’s not healthy for me. Looking back, in work and in life, is something I’m hesitant to do. I try not to. It’s funny, though, I’m transferring all my films to digital masters, for future DVD release, and it’s really excruciating for me to watch them again. Down By Law, or whatever. I leave really depressed.”

‘Jarmusch began the 90s with Night on Earth, his most ambitious film to date, boasting a pedigree cast that included Winona Ryder and Gena Rowlands, and a tricky five-city schedule. Despite Night on Earth, however, Jarmusch’s career stubbornly refused to take off – unlike Lee, who was gearing up to make Malcolm X for Columbia. “My films are hand-made in the garage,” says Jarmusch, “so it takes me a little while to get them together. My friend Aki Kaurismaki calls me the world’s slowest film director, after Kubrick. My rhythm is my rhythm, and – how can I say this? – I’m not ambitious, and I’m not career-orientated in that way. If I were, I’d make different kinds of films. I’m lucky and happy and want to keep making work, but I have no desire to be more prolific. But then I see someone like Aki, who works in the same way, or Claire Denis. They make films more often than I do. But I’m always telling them to slow down. I want them to be happy and healthy; they worry me because they get stressed out by working too much. I’m happy with my rhythm, slow as it may be. It’s how I talk.”

‘Despite the fact that Jarmusch’s work instantaneously became the pet subject of graduate theses, he’s as keen as ever to point up the collaborative nature of his film-making. “To me, the auteur thing is a lot of bullshit, because you collaborate on a film in every way, with everyone – even with whoever’s stopping traffic. But I’m contradictory, because I’m a control freak to the point that I want to know every prop, every ashtray, every colour, everything that’s in the set. But at the same time I’m collaborating with other people, who are helping me find those things. I would like to work in a more free way, but I don’t have that luxury because I don’t have that kind of budget.”

‘If nothing else, Jarmusch’s long run demonstrates that you get what you give, that the love you take is equal to the love you make, that – indeed – what goes around comes around. And it’s just as well he’s content with his lot. “I don’t want to be mainstream,” he says. “I like being in the margins. I’m happy where I exist. The things that inspire me I find in the margins. I’m not consciously trying to be marginal, it’s just where I end up and where I live. There’s a gift in there for me and I’m happy to have that gift.” — The Guardian





The Jim Jarmusch Resource Page
Jim Jarmusch @ IMDb
Jim Jarmusch @ The Criterion Collection
Jim Jarmuch’s Twitter
Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Invisible Jukebox’ @ The Wire
Jim Jarmusch & SQÜRL Interviewed
‘Jim Jarmusch Outs Himself As A Mycophile’
Jim Jarmusch Discography
‘Jim Jarmusch’s Notes for a Ghostbusters Sequel’
Jim Jarmusch interviewed @ Interview
French Jim Jarmusch Fan Page
Jim Jarmusch bio @ film.factory
‘The Auteurs: Jim Jarmusch’
‘The Loneliness of Jim Jarmusch’
‘Every Jim Jarmusch Film from Worst to Best’
Heck Yes Jim Jarmusch


‘Filmed in Sevilla during 3 days on the set of The Limits of Control, Behind Jim Jarmusch (2009) is a rare behind the scenes glimpse into the process of this American auteur. Director Léa Rinaldi unveils an exquisitely personal glimpse into the relationship between Jim Jarmusch and his impressive ensemble cast, including Isaach De Bankolé, Tilda Swinton, Billy Murray, and John Hurt. For one of the few times in his career, the author of Stranger than Paradise and Dead Man has allowed a camera, during three days to breach into his creative arena. From the labyrinthine alleys of Sevilla to its orange-tree shaded squares, or to a bunker-like studio, the young French filmmaker leads us into the set pulse. It’s an initiation to Time, the time it takes to make a movie.’ — collaged



Jim Jarmusch, Bradford Cox and No Age perform Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer”

Jim Jarmusch in Bored to Death

Fishing With John Episode 1 – Montauk with Jim Jarmusch

Jozef Van Wissem and Jim Jarmusch “Etimasia”

SQÜRL ( Carter Logan, Jim Jarmusch, and Shane Stoneback) “Pink Dust”


Jim Jarmusch’s 5 Golden Rules
from Moviemaker

Rule #1: There are no rules. There are as many ways to make a film as there are potential filmmakers. It’s an open form. Anyway, I would personally never presume to tell anyone else what to do or how to do anything. To me that’s like telling someone else what their religious beliefs should be. Fuck that. That’s against my personal philosophy—more of a code than a set of “rules.” Therefore, disregard the “rules” you are presently reading, and instead consider them to be merely notes to myself. One should make one’s own “notes” because there is no one way to do anything. If anyone tells you there is only one way, their way, get as far away from them as possible, both physically and philosophically.

Rule #2: Don’t let the fuckers get ya. They can either help you, or not help you, but they can’t stop you. People who finance films, distribute films, promote films and exhibit films are not filmmakers. They are not interested in letting filmmakers define and dictate the way they do their business, so filmmakers should have no interest in allowing them to dictate the way a film is made. Carry a gun if necessary.

Also, avoid sycophants at all costs. There are always people around who only want to be involved in filmmaking to get rich, get famous, or get laid. Generally, they know as much about filmmaking as George W. Bush knows about hand-to-hand combat.

Rule #3: The production is there to serve the film. The film is not there to serve the production. Unfortunately, in the world of filmmaking this is almost universally backwards. The film is not being made to serve the budget, the schedule, or the resumes of those involved. Filmmakers who don’t understand this should be hung from their ankles and asked why the sky appears to be upside down.

Rule #4: Filmmaking is a collaborative process. You get the chance to work with others whose minds and ideas may be stronger than your own. Make sure they remain focused on their own function and not someone else’s job, or you’ll have a big mess. But treat all collaborators as equals and with respect. A production assistant who is holding back traffic so the crew can get a shot is no less important than the actors in the scene, the director of photography, the production designer or the director. Hierarchy is for those whose egos are inflated or out of control, or for people in the military. Those with whom you choose to collaborate, if you make good choices, can elevate the quality and content of your film to a much higher plane than any one mind could imagine on its own. If you don’t want to work with other people, go paint a painting or write a book. (And if you want to be a fucking dictator, I guess these days you just have to go into politics…).

Rule #5: Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”


17 of Jim Jarmusch’s 29 films

Permanent Vacation (1980)
‘Rootless Hungarian émigré Willie (John Lurie), his pal Eddie (Richard Edson), and visiting sixteen-year-old cousin Eva (Eszter Balint) always manage to make the least of any situation, whether aimlessly traversing the drab interiors and environs of New York City, Cleveland, or an anonymous Florida suburb. With its delicate humor and dramatic nonchalance, Jim Jarmusch’s one-of-a-kind minimalist masterpiece, Stranger Than Paradise, forever transformed the landscape of American independent cinema.’ — Criterion Collection





Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
‘A downbeat pastoral just this side of sentimental, Stranger Than Paradise is a celebration of hanging out, bumming around, and striking it rich—American (pre)occupations as deep-dyed as they are disreputable. The film, which plays the [New York] Film Festival this weekend and the Cinema Studio thereafter, is a stringent road movie cum character farce, with a trio of lumpen bohemians—a teenage immigrant from Budapest, her Americanized cousin, and his affable buddy—boldly emblazoned upon a series of gloriously deadbeat landscapes (the Lower East Side, the outskirts of Cleveland, the anonymous Florida coast). It’s very funny, and it’s pure movie. No one will ever mistake this deadpan whatsit for a failed off-off-Broadway play.’ — J. Hoberman




Down by Law (1986)
Down by Law, released in 1986, was Jim Jarmusch’s third movie. Unlike its predecessors, Permanent Vacation (1980) and Stranger Than Paradise (1984), it did not take off from a semi-documentary view of downtown Manhattan. It was shot entirely on location in Louisiana, which in the context of low-budget independent New York City film­making was exotic, even more so than the previous picture’s forays to the forlorn outskirts of Cleveland and whatever derelict stretch of highway stood in for Florida. Here, the location is announced and front-loaded during the credits. New Orleans and its surroundings pass in review, from left to right, etched in crystalline black and white by Robby Müller’s camera: mausoleums, wrought-iron balconies, low-slung housing projects, shacks on stilts. After that, scenes unfold amid semitropical architecture and in the bayous; you hear Cajun accents and Irma Thomas singing, but for all the flavor of filé gumbo, the actual setting is no more Louisiana than the setting of Macao is Macao. Down by Law takes place in the land of the imagination, in the province of the movies.’ — Luc Sante





Mystery Train (1989)
‘I am equally moved by that moment in Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train when the young Japanese couple arrive in the train station in Memphis only to encounter what appears to be a homeless black man, a drifter, but who turns to them and speaks in Japanese. The interaction takes only a moment, but it deconstructs and expresses so much. It reminds us that appearances are deceiving. It made me think about black men as travelers, about black men who fight in armies around the world. This filmic moment challenges our perceptions of blackness by engaging in a process of defamiliarization (the taking of a familiar image and depicting it in such a way that we look at it and see it differently). Way before Tarantino was dabbling in “cool” images of blackness, Jarmusch had shown in Down by Law and other work that it was possible for a white-guy filmmaker to do progressive work around race and representation.’ — bell hooks


Opening scenes

Screamin´ Jay Hawkins in Mystery Train


Night on Earth (1991)
‘Jim Jarmusch’s Night on Earth is an agreeably flaky comedy built around a surefire hook. Each of the film’s five segments consists of a single extended taxicab ride through a different city; the idea is that each excursion is taking place at exactly the same time. Jarmusch starts out in Los Angeles, then moves to New York, Paris, Rome, and, finally, Helsinki. (Why Helsinki? As far as I could tell, so that the movie could end at sunrise.) Night on Earth’s cosmic title may lead you to expect a spiritual overview of the state of the world, but the joke is that these cabbies and their passengers all speak a universal language of disconnectedness. Before long, the taxis themselves begin to feel cozy and familiar. The movie is like a hipster’s ramshackle version of traveling around the world and never leaving the Hilton.’ — Owen Gleiberman


Night on Earth – Paris

Night on Earth – New York


Tom Waits: I Don’t Wanna Grow Up (1992)
‘Film director Jim Jarmusch used to consider music videos as a movie in miniature until he got into a fight with Tom Waits over the making of the one for this song. Jarmush explained to Uncut magazine: “He wanted me to cut it differently, and I said, that ‘it’s like a film I’m making, Tom,’ and, and he said, ‘no, it’s a commercial for this song. If people are watching TV, I don’t want them changing channel. If you can pop this crazy image in the earlier, it would help this, that, blah blah blah.’We had a big fight in which I dropped him in an enclosed parking lot behind a metal door in LA in the middle of the night,” Jarmush added. “He was pounding on the door. I vividly remember the insult, which no one has ever said to me again. He yelled through the door, ‘God dammit, Jim, I’m going to glue your hair to the wall.’ At which point I let him back in. It was a fight between friends. We reconciled.”‘ — Jim Jarmusch


Dead Man (1995)
Dead Man is likely Jim Jarmusch’s most stunning achievement. A period piece, and what’s more, one that draws directly upon a genre (the western), the film stands apart from Jarmusch’s other work categorically as well. Johnny Depp plays William Blake, who ventures westward by train to the dystopian town of Machine in search of work. While there, he meets Thel (Mili Avital), whose boyfriend (Gabriel Bryne) catches them in bed. The violence that ensues causes Blake to scramble across the wilderness with a bullet in his chest. Pursued by savage bounty hunters, his journey is an extended death scene—he avoids one meeting with mortality before encountering another.’ — Zach Campbell





Year of the Horse (1997)
‘The film, directed by Jim Jarmusch, follows a 1996 Neil Young concert tour and intercuts footage from 1986 and 1976 tours. It’s all shot in muddy earth tones, on grainy Super 8 film, Hi Fi 8 video and 16-mm. If you seek the origin of the grunge look, seek no further: Young, in his floppy plaid shirts and baggy shorts, looks like a shipwrecked lumberjack. His fellow band members, Billy Talbot, Poncho Sampedro and Ralph Molina, exude vibes that would strike terror into the heart of an unarmed convenience store clerk. These seances are intercut with concert footage, during which the band typically sings the lyrics through once and then gets mired in endless loops of instrumental repetition that seem positioned somewhere between mantras and autism. The music is shapeless, graceless and built from rhythm, not melody; it is amusing, given the undisciplined sound, to eavesdrop later as they argue in a van about whether they all were following the same arrangement.’ — Roger Ebert



Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)
‘A more crowd-pleasing exercise in fathomless cool than its predecessor, Ghost Dog is an impeccably shot and sensationally scored deadpan parody of two current popular modes—the hit-man glorification saga and the Cosa Nostra family drama—and is predicated on the clash of at least as many behavioral codes. The hired gun known as Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker) is introduced reading the 18th-century samurai manual Hagakure. His lips don’t exactly move, but the text thereafter serves as the major indicator of his consciousness: “The samurai is as if dead.” Like the Parisian hit man who is the antihero of Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1967 Le Samurai (which, no less stylized, opens with a quote from the invented Book of Bushido), Ghost Dog is an ascetic loner who must ultimately wreak vengeance on the employer who betrays him. Cowled like a monk in his hooded sweatshirt, the urban samurai leaves his rooftop shack, complete with pigeon coop and Shinto altar, to glide unseen through the nighttime streets of his derelict neighborhood (a seeming mixture of Brooklyn and Jersey City).’ — J. Hoberman





Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)
‘Jim Jarmusch has been working on Coffee and Cigarettes for so long that when he started the project, you could still smoke in a coffee shop. The idea was to gather unexpected combinations of actors and, well, let them talk over coffee and cigarettes. He began with the short film “Coffee and Cigarettes I,” filmed in 1986, before we knew who Roberto Benigni was (unless we’d seen Jarmusch’s Down By Law). Benigni the verbal hurricane strikes the withdrawn Steven Wright and is so eager to do him a favor that he eventually goes to the dentist for him. There’s no more to it than that, but how much more do you need? A few minutes, and the skit is over. None of these 11 vignettes overstays its welcome, although a few seem to lose their way. And although Jarmusch has the writing credit, we have the feeling at various moments (as when Bill Murray walks in on a conversation between RZA and GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan and exchanges herbal remedies with them) that improvisation plays a part.’ — Roger Ebert




Broken Flowers (2005)
Broken Flowers relies on Bill Murray’s persona, but it also turns that persona back on him. Instead of maintaining the satirical distance that made it easy to laugh at heartland eccentrics in, say, Alexander Payne’s About Schmidt, Jarmusch’s film avoids caricature, and Murray’s poker face melts. Don feels a bittersweet regret at becoming exn his self-effacement has achieved high comic art, and he collaborates with Jarmusch at a point in his career when he’s trying to be something more than hipster-serene. Both succeed, by committing to the notion that a yearning to be reborn within a hopeless, brittle soul is worthy of drama—as well as a deeper, gentler humor.’ — Ken Tucker



DVD Extras


The Limits of Control (2009)
‘The effect of the new Jim Jarmusch film, The Limits of Control, is to prove that, however gracefully you groom a shaggy-dog story, it won’t stop roaming. Isaach De Bankolé—originally from Ivory Coast, and a Jarmusch regular, in works like Night on Earth and Coffee and Cigarettes — plays a man with a mission. That sounds decisive, but the man is a nameless itinerant, and you can no more explain his mission than finish a jigsaw under water. Clad in a succession of silk suits, he flies to Madrid, takes a train to Seville, then takes another into rural desolation. In each place, the same thing happens, with minor variations: a contact approaches, launches into a discussion of art, music, drugs, or whatever, and trades matchboxes with our guy. Each box contains a cipher on a slip of paper, which he reads and eats. The tale is constructed with infinite care, and shot with an almost aching clarity by Christopher Doyle. (Whole theses could, and probably will, be written on its use of blood-orange red.) The cast, too, is so hip that it makes your gums hurt, with cameos for Gael García Bernal, John Hurt, Bill Murray, and a white-wigged Tilda Swinton, whose deployment of a transparent umbrella as a parasol is a typical gesture of stylized futility.’ — The New Yorker


Archival Talks: Jim Jarmusch, “The Limits of Control”


Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
The Thin Man with blood cocktails, an ode to hipsterism through the ages, a mainline shot of cool and a playful tribute to artistic fetishism, Jim Jarmusch’s vampire romance Only Lovers Left Alive is an addictive mood and tone piece, a nocturnal reverie that incidentally celebrates a marriage that has lasted untold centuries. Almost nothing happens in this minor-key drift through a desolate, imperiled modern world, and yet it is the perennial downtown filmmaker’s best work in many years, probably since 1995’s Dead Man, with which it shares a sense of quiet, heady, perilous passage.’ — Hollywood Reporter


Title sequence

“Only Lovers Left Alive” Q&A;: Jim Jarmusch, Tilda Swinton


Paterson (2016)
‘In Jim Jarmusch’s thirteenth feature, Paterson, Adam Driver plays a bus driver named Paterson who also happens to live and work in Paterson N.J. And like an earlier Paterson resident, physician-poet William Carlos Williams, he writes poetry in his spare time. During coffee and lunch breaks, and in the moments before he begins his route, Paterson writes poems inspired by everyday things. For example, a box of Ohio Blue Tip matches sparks a meditation on the pure, quiet love he feels for his wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), a charming, stay-at-home DIY dynamo. Jarmusch, too, loves poetry. He’s a fan, in particular, of Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery, members of what’s commonly known as the New York School of poets. (The poems in Paterson, in fact, were written by New York School poet Ron Padgett.) Jarmusch has drawn on that love, and more, to make a picture that shows how art—maybe even especially art made in the margins—can fill up everyday life.’ — Stephanie Zacharek




Gimme Danger (2016)
‘“It’s June 9. We are in an undisclosed location. We are interrogating Jim Osterberg about the Stooges, the greatest rock and roll band ever.” So begins Jim Jarmusch’s affectionate, thorough documentary – a film in which violence is swift and random, household objects are employed during the making of music, Wimbledon provides an unlikely recording location and John Wayne cameos alongside David Bowie, Art Garfunkel and Nico. One anecdote involves a tab of mescalin and a shovel. For the first gig, the singer was made up in white face, wearing an aluminum afro wig and a maternity smock and played a vacuum cleaner on stage. There are drugs, chaos, more drugs. Death, redemption, riffs are all present. As Iggy notes dryly, “It ain’t too easy being the Stooges sometimes, you know?”’ — Uncut



Jim Jarmusch & Iggy Pop | ‘Gimme Danger’ Q&A


The Dead Don’t Die (2019)
‘Jim Jarmusch’s style is so singular and versatile that if you fall in love with it, as some of us did over 30 years ago with “Stranger than Paradise,” you’ll believe there’s no such thing as a bad Jarmusch picture, because you’ll judge each new film in relation to Jarmusch’s best, not what anyone else might’ve theoretically done with the same material. “The Dead Don’t Die” is far from Jarmusch’s best, but there’s something to be said for its zonked-out acceptance of extinction.’ — Matt Zoller Seitz





p.s. Hey. So, someone tried unsuccessfully to break into my blog hundreds of times last night using many IP addresses. I’ve upgraded to a higher protection level, and they’re still trying to break in as of 5 minutes ago. Hopefully they’ll give up, but just to say if the blog suddenly goes haywire or dies or something, that’s why. ** Ian, Hi, Ian. People are so squeamish, no? Those Jesus pops certainly could’ve been in an earlier post here, now that you mention it. Good eye. I’ve never read ‘They Shoot Horses Don’t They?’. I love the film version. It’s amazing, eh? Okay, I’ll look for it. Thanks, pal. I never met Gore Vidal, no. I was in a restaurant when he was in the same restaurant, and I sort of studied him from afar. I should probably praise cthulhu too, shouldn’t I, just to be safe. Done. (I did it IRL). ** Dominik, Hi!!! I’m glad there were a couple of gods in there who lived up to the hype. Ha ha. Your love seeing the tears in my love’s eyes as his beloved bellbottoms are burning and having a moment of compassion in which he restores the bellbottoms with his magic powers and gives my love a lick of his Jesus pop which they both find so sexy that they log into your love’s OnlyFans account, turn on your love’s laptop’s camera and have sex which, when it finally goes live on your love’s OnlyFans account, is so erotic that word spreads and God hears about it and watches the video and is so turned on that he becomes inspired to create total peace in the world, G. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Oh, I intend to avoid that WA documentary like the veritable plague. ** _Black_Acrylic, And feeling blessed is the ideal reaction! Thank you! Nice that you got outside. Well, surely they’ll let you have your laptop? Why in the world wouldn’t they? You’re not in prison, right? ** Thomas Kendall, Hi, Tom. Great to see you, my friend! I do like Jenny Erpenbeck, yes. In fact I think I read she has a new book out which I’ve been meaning to score. How are you? So, so excited for your long, long, long awaited novel to bring much needed joy into the world! ** Steve Erickson, Jesus is as annoying as fuck. Yikes. Ah, but I didn’t want to balance out the Slayer track. Fuck the non-black, you know? Balance is for pussies, as Slayer might have said, or at least thought. Spring should have that effect, although in this climate confused world we now live in, who knows? AIDOL will be mine as soon as I can get it. I’m sold. ** alex rose, Mr. Rose! A great pleasure, a great honor, a great … all kinds of other stuff. Sure, I’m totally down to have my stuff in that 7 day New York thing you’re doing. Use whatever you want, carte blanche. I’m thrilled that you asked and that you want include my things. When is it happening? What is it? I want to see, duh. Biggest love and deepest bow! ** Brendan, Hey! I was wondering if you noticed I restored that. I probably should’ve told you. I always like to surprise people, but there’s an assumption there that people will be so attuned to the blog on a micro level that they’ll know on their own, which is kind of gross. Anyway, yeah, the post still had its benevolent assaultive quality. Thank you from the future. You hanging in +? Love, me. ** Sypha, Ah, yeah, William Blake. Everyone, one last God add as proposed by Sypha. Sypha: ‘I think one of my favorite pictorial representations of God is William Blake’s “God Blessing the Seventh Day” (c. 1805). Usually depictions of the Old Testament God come off as looking very stern and humorless, but I kind of like how cheerful and happy Blake’s God looks.’ ** Right. Even though Jim Jarmusch’s films are kind of hit or miss for me — I like a few quite a lot, dislike a few quite a lot, and think most of them are okay — he’s a distinctive filmmaker, and I’ve never done a Day about him, and I thought I probably should, and I did. Jarmusch-y thoughts, anyone? See you tomorrow.


  1. Tomk

    Someone is trying to hack the blog? What the fuck? Sad to have to demystify Hacking as the last romantic renegade pursuit.

    I’m good man… well apart from needing a job ASAP … did I mention we are back in the uk now? Obviously we picked the best time to return. I was missing people before but now they are within reach and I still can’t see them… it’s getting to me a bit.
    Cheers about the book man. It took a loooooooong tiime haha I kinda can’t believe it. We’ve talked a little about the cover and I should get the edits for it soon. I’m super excited.!

  2. Dominik


    And yet another excellent post today! I like Jim Jarmusch a lot. Thank you so much!

    Holy shit, this is some inspired love! Wow! Haha!! And then here I am, sending back this simple but bloodthirsty love protecting your blog from the person who’s trying so hard to squeeze themselves into somewhere they really don’t belong, Od.

  3. TomK

    Also re: Jarmusch. I like a fair few of his earlier films (plus only lovers left alive and Ghostdog is fun) and there’s something about their ease and rhythms that reads as charismatic but the flipside of that is its too comfortable feeling in places…like it would be great if something could disrupt that laconic ambience but, i don’t know, its just not in the vocabulary of the films so maybe i’m asking too much.

    A new Erpenbeck book? I want. I also want the seventh mansion book that was on your best of …desperately. But i need a job before i can buy books again.

  4. David Ehrenstein

    Great to see a Jim Jarmusch Day.Ever since “Stranger Than Paradise” out him on the map he’s been one of the most consistently inventive and entertaining inde talents around. He works with some of my favoirte people — Iggy, Tom Waites and of course Tilda. “Only Lovers Left Alive” is my favorite to date– a vampire film that’s totally unlike any other ever made.

    I may begetting an aget for”Raised By HandPuppets.” Fingers crossed.

  5. David Ehrenstein

    I’m sorry you never got to speak to Gore Vidal. Your literary erudition would have doubtless impressed him and you would ave had tons to say to one another about sex.

    Here’s the latest from Iggy

  6. _Black_Acrylic

    I’m a Jarmusch fan and particularly enjoy his RZA collaborations. Ghost Dog is maybe my fave of all.

    My DJ colleague Il Discotto aka Paul Shark has a show
    here at Tak Tent Radio! I hope that code works ok. His mix is very different from the Play Therapy fare, more of a dystopian sound collage with Adam Curtis samples on top. I’m very much impressed with what he does here.

  7. Bill

    Geez, sorry to hear about the blog hacking, Dennis. Don’t people have more interesting things to do?

    Great to see this Jarmusch day! He’s hit-and-miss for me too, but there are quite a few old favorites here. I still remember how mind-blowing it was to see Stranger Than Paradise and Down by Law in the ’80s. Of the films from the last 10 years, I’ve only seen Only Lovers Left Alive, which I loved. Probably not going to check out the zombie movie, haha. How’s Paterson?

    Been super busy this week, but I did enjoy yesterday’s god popsicle, and of course all the player pianos!


  8. wolf

    Dennis, Ze Dennster! A JIM JARMUSCH DAY!!! Jim! Jarmusch! The ultimate All Killer No Filler filmmaker! Man, what can I say about Jarmusch that has not been said a thousand times. He just gets it. Love every single thing he’s ever done. I’m pretty sure he never filmed Cillian Murphy smoking dreamily thought, but I don’t exactly begrudge you that out-of-place gif. Actually it kinda fits right in. Although no-one is more giffable than Iggy Pop and his “whaaat the ffffff” face at Tom Waits being a weirdo. So, I probably have asked you that before, but which ones are your faves? Or, well, the ones you like anyway? I’m having a hard time choosing between The Limits Of Control, Ghost Dog and Down by Law (possibly the only movie I ever saw with Benigni in it that did not want to make me throw a theoretical remote at the screen). Although there’s a difference between which ones I think are the best and the one(s) I like the most. I reckon Limits of Control is the best; but anything with Waits and Lurie in it is bound to be no1 in my heat. Jarmusch’s rules are solid too; I bet you can’t argue with those!
    To the wannabe hackers: you little fuckers better leave DC’s alone or the big bad wolf is coming at you you bunch of monosyllabic basement-dwelling pieces of shit!! Hey listen up, isn’t that mum calling you up for dinner! Off you fuck then!

  9. Brendan

    Well I feel like I look at the blog everyday. But it seems I was lagging that week. Lesson learned. Anyway it was fun. I’m okay. Stasis. Waiting for my vaccine, like everybody else. Things seem to be getting ever so slightly better in LA. Things are opening a bit, hospitalizations and cases are lower. And spring training games start on Saturday!

    I have some new photos I like. I’ll send them to you today, just to share.

    Jarmusch was the coolest dude ever for me in my photo film obsessive teenager years. Down By Law just floored my 18 year old brain. He recently liked one of my photos on Instagram and I felt like I had truly made it.


  10. Conrad

    Hi Dennis ! Oh, it’ll only be a little “thank you” comment. 1 : for the Ray Johnson documentary: “How to Draw a Bunny”. I watched it today, and I loved it. What a great sherif ! 2: for the Varda Day post : I watched “Sans toit ni loi”, which is really good, and “Les glaneurs et la glaneuse”. “Les glaneurs…” is so good. 3 : for the Gariné Torossian Day : I really liked “Stone Time Touch”, which seems to be constructed like a piece of music ? Also, thank you for the great news about a new Edouard Levé book coming out. I love “Autoportrait” and “Oeuvres”. I know that Autoportrait is often used in writing workshops. Well, these books are also good because they can make you think “maybe I could do that too ?”, and they can make you do it. At least, they can make you try. Maybe. Have you seen any good art shows recently ? Have you tried Boris Lumé’s pastry shop ? Well, if you haven’t… … now I’m thinking of a delivery system that would allow me to send a good pastry to you as a gift. Mmmh, they have to invent that. Like an Interflora, but it’d be Interpâtisserie.

  11. Steve Erickson

    I hope you got my E-mail.

    Well, If Jesus came back to life, he would be spreading his message through annoying TikToks and YouTube videos! (I picture him gathering a flock by live-streaming himself playing MINECRAFT & CALL OF DUTY and making TikToks dancing to Lil Baby songs.)

    I was able to see my doctor today. I had a muscle spasm and wound up with an inflamed muscle. I’m still in a lot of pain, but I am about to go to the pharmacy and pick up his prescription for muscle relaxants. He told me that my weight contributed to this and I need to lose some, but that will have to be a long-term project.

    Jarmusch has made several great films – my favorite is DEAD MAN – but the ups and downs are frustrating. The last half hour of THE DEAD DON’T DIE resonated for me as an allegory about depression, but I don’t think that’s what he intended at all.

    I hope the hackers have given up by the time I’m writing this. Has WordPress been able to trace them?

    Here’s my review of Julien Baker’s new album LITTLE OBLIVIONS:

  12. Jeestun

    JJ is his own man. Can’t say that about many (commercial) filmmakers left alive. If you get the chance, see his camerawork for Sara Driver’s You Are Not I, which was considered lost until they found a copy amongst Paul Bowles’ moldering possessions in Tangiers (script based upon his work). … Anybody screws with this blog is a Dead Man.

  13. Jack Skelley

    Thanx for this, Dennis. I visited Memphis last January. The top Mystery Train locations are still there, including the train station itself, redeveloped into a music-themed hotel. The former concourse is now a DJ lounge with thousands of Memphis records & books. (The trains still run too.) Really, the entire city is a shrine to music. Also got to Rev Al Green’s church! Sorry about the break-in!! Yikes!! Talk soooon…

  14. alex rose

    dennis !!

    thank you

    il rummage tonight

    thank you, love you


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