Jim Jarmusch

Director, Screenwriter, Actor
From the time he emerged onto the film scene with "Stranger Than Paradise" (1984), writer-director Jim Jarmusch defined the true meaning of independent director. Though he decried being labeled as such, there was no ... Read more »
Born: 01/21/1953 in Akron, Ohio, USA

Filmography

Actor (28)

Blank City 2011 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Bored to Death 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Simpsons 2008 (Tv Show)

Voice

40X15: Forty Years of the Directors' Fortnight 2007 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Rockets Redglare! 2004 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession 2004 (Movie)

(Actor)

Divine Trash 2000 (Movie)

(Actor)

SpongeBob SquarePants 2000 (Tv Show)

Voice

Fishing With John 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

R.I.P. Rest In Pieces 1998 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Year of the Horse 1997 (Movie)

The Director (Actor)

Sling Blade 1996 (Movie)

Dairy Queen Boy (Actor)

American Cinema 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Blue in the Face 1995 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Typewriter, the Rifle & the Movie Camera 1995 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Tigrero: A Film That Was Never Made 1994 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Iron Horsemen 1993 (Movie)

(Actor)

In the Soup 1992 (Movie)

Monty (Actor)

The Golden Boat 1991 (Movie)

Stranger (Actor)

Leningrad Cowboys Go America 1990 (Movie)

Car Dealer in New York (Actor)

Candy Mountain 1988 (Movie)

(Actor)

Helsinki Napoli All Night Long 1988 (Movie)

(Actor)

Straight to Hell 1987 (Movie)

Mr Dade (Actor)

Fraulein Berlin 1981 (Movie)

(Actor)
Director (17)

Only Lovers Left Alive 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

The Limits of Control 2009 (Movie)

(Director)

Broken Flowers 2005 (Movie)

(Director)

Coffee and Cigarettes 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

Ghost Dog: the Way of the Samurai 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

The Year of the Horse 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

Dead Man 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Night on Earth 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Red, Hot & Blue 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Segment Director

Mystery Train 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

Coffee and Cigarettes: Memphis Version 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Down By Law 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

Coffee and Cigarettes 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Stranger Than Paradise 1984 (Movie)

(Director)

Permanent Vacation 1982 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (14)

Only Lovers Left Alive 2014 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Limits of Control 2009 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Broken Flowers 2005 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Coffee and Cigarettes 2004 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Ghost Dog: the Way of the Samurai 2000 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Dead Man 1996 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Night on Earth 1992 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Mystery Train 1989 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Coffee and Cigarettes: Memphis Version 1988 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Down By Law 1986 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Coffee and Cigarettes 1985 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Stranger Than Paradise 1984 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Permanent Vacation 1982 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (5)

Explicit Ills 2009 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Ghost Dog: the Way of the Samurai 2000 (Movie)

(Producer)

When Pigs Fly 1996 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Night on Earth 1992 (Movie)

(Producer)

Permanent Vacation 1982 (Movie)

(Producer)
Editor (4)

Coffee and Cigarettes 2004 (Movie)

(Editor)

Stranger Than Paradise 1984 (Movie)

(Editor)

Permanent Vacation 1982 (Movie)

(Editor)
Sound (3)

Burroughs 1982 (Movie)

sound recording (Sound)

Underground U.S.A. 1979 (Movie)

sound recording (Sound)

Underground U.S.A. 1979 (Movie)

sound recording (Sound)
Music (2)

The Limits of Control 2009 (Movie)

Music Performer (Performer)

Permanent Vacation 1982 (Movie)

(Music)
Camera, Film, & Tape (2)

The Year of the Horse 1997 (Movie)

(super 8) (Director of Photography)

Sleepwalk 1987 (Movie)

(Camera Operator)

Biography

From the time he emerged onto the film scene with "Stranger Than Paradise" (1984), writer-director Jim Jarmusch defined the true meaning of independent director. Though he decried being labeled as such, there was no doubt that his steadfast refusal to take Hollywood money in order to maintain creative and financial control over his films made him synonymous with the low-budget indie world. In hip, comic, minimalist films like "Down By Law" (1986) and "Mystery Train" (1989), Jarmusch explored the recurring theme of cultures colliding, typically by using outsiders from foreign countries to examine the cultural wasteland of post-modern America. Creating a visible persona by appearing as an actor in other indies - most notably "Blue in the Face" (1995) - only helped raise interest in Jarmusch by the refined intelligentsia he catered to. Though he occasionally perplexed critics and fans with some of his output, notably "Dead Man" (1995) and "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai' (2000), Jarmusch nonetheless retained his own identity - not to mention all the film negatives - even while touching upon more mainstream narratives like "Broken Flowers" (2005), making him a truly independent filmmaker.

Relationships

Sara Driver Actor

Companion

Tom Jarmusch

Brother
born c. 1961 appeared in Tom DiCillo's "Johnny Suede" (1991) and "Living in Oblivion" (1995)

EDUCATION

Northwestern University

Chicago , Illinois
attended for one year

Columbia University

New York , New York 1975
studied in Paris senior year

Institute of Film and Television , New York University

New York , New York
graduate student, teaching assistant to Nicholas Ray; never finished, using his tuition money to finance his first feature, "Permanent Vacation", shot in ten days for $10,000 and then made short film "New World" which he later expanded into "Stranger Than Paradise"; attended at same time as Spike Lee

Cayahoga Falls High School

Cayahoga Falls , Ohio 1971

Milestones

2005

Helmed the more mainstream film, "Broken Flowers," which stars Bill Murray and includes appearances by an array of actresses including Jessica Lange, Sharon Stone, Tilda Swinton and Frances Conroy

2004

Wrote and directed "Coffee and Cigarettes," a comic series of 11 unconnected short vignettes built on one another to create a cumulative effect, and centered around various people chatting while sitting around sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes

1999

Wrote and directed "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai", about a hit man who finds he's been double-crossed; film featured a highly-charged soundtrack by The RZA (of the Wu-Tang Clan) ; debuted in competition at Cannes

1997

Helmed the Neil Young concert film "Year of the Horse"

1996

Made cameo appearances in Billy Bob Thornton's feature directing debut, "Sling Blade", and Wayne Wang and Paul Auster's "Blue in the Face"

1995

Wrote and directed the revisionist "Dead Man", a hallucinatory black-and-white period Western starring Johnny Depp as a fugitive befriended by a Native American (Gary Farmer); Neil Young's haunting score greatly enhanced film's atmosphere; Jarmusch subseq

1993

Made third short in the series, "Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California", featuring Tom Waits and Iggy Pop as themselves; received Cannes Palme d'Or for short films

1992

Reteamed with Waits as director of the music video for "I Don't Wanna Grow Up"

1990

Helmed "It's Alright with Me", a music video of Waits' single

1990

Filmed his 1991 feature "Night on Earth" on location in Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, Rome and Helsinki; project reteamed him with Benigni and Waits who composed music, as well as writing, producing and performing several songs

1989

Won acclaim at Cannes for "Mystery Train"

1988

Wrote and directed the second "Coffee and Cigarettes: Memphis Version", featuring Steve Buscemi, Cinque Lee and Joie Lee

1986

Directed "Down By Law", starring Roberto Benigni, Tom Waits and John Lurie

1986

Wrote and directed the first in a series of short films titled "Coffee and Cigarettes"; Benigni co-starred with Steven Wright

1986

Worked as a camera operator on Sara Driver's "Sleepwalk"

1985

Helmed the music video "The Lady Don't Mind" by Talking Heads

1984

Directed, wrote, and edited the breakthrough feature "Stranger Than Paradise", an expanded version of his short film "New World"

1983

Provided sound recording for "Burroughs", a documentary about the writer William S Burroughs

1982

Worked as an actor in Lothar Lambert's West German feature "Fraulein Berlin"

1980

Directed, wrote, edited, and composed the music for "Permanent Vacation", his first feature; Tom DiCillo served as director of photography; on its completion, Wenders gave him some leftover film stock which he used for part of "Stranger Than Paradise"

1980

Wrote and directed the short "New World"

1980

Provided sound recording for Eric Mitchell's "Underground USA"

1979

Worked as a production assistant on the epochal Nicholas Ray/Wim Wenders collaboration, "Lightning Over Water"

Bonus Trivia

.

"Independent filmmaking is a lot like gambling. I could make a lot more money by taking [Hollywood] directing jobs, or giving away control of my films and selling to the highest bidder. But if I'm putting up three years of my life and a lot of work, and you put up the money, we can split the profits, but I keep the negative."---Jim Jarmusch to Variety, December 27, 1989.

.

"I want the critics to find my films themselves. Most films aren't demanding enough of the audience. I've tried to see this supposed 'new' strain in American movies. Instead, I see the realities like 'Desperately Seeking Susan' and 'Blood Simple'. They're Spielbergian, a play on accepting television language. They don't trust the audience, cutting to a new shot every six or seven seconds. Frankly, I feel the whole situation for making films has gotten worse."---Jarmusch in American Film, October 1986.

.

"Anytime you make a film, it's not my money I use, so there's business considerations; I'm not naive and not oblivious to them. But they serve the film in the end, rather than the film serving the money. I think maybe that's the basic difference. As soon as the work is there to serve the budget, rather than the budget being there to serve the work, then it's backwards and that's not independent anymore."I get to make films the way I want. It would be frustrating if no one would help me finance them. I don't care where the money comes from as long as it doesn't have restrictions with guys in suits telling me how to cast the film and how to cut it and what actors to cast, or what music to use. As long as it's my work then I'm happy. I don't care if that money comes from Universal or if it comes from some independent business guys in, you know, in France, or wherever." ---Jarmusch quoted in Filmmaker Focus at www.sundancechannel.com

.

On censorship: "It's like Oscar Wilde says, paraphrasing him: 'The imagination should be out of bounds to any form of censorship.' Because if you can release things in your imagination you may not have to act on them. For example, sexuality in Scandinavia is probably a hell of a lot more healthy than in America, where it is repressed. I think that there are fewer people there who are raping and abusing others than here. I think if you look at 'gangster rap', which gets constantly harassed, you'll see it's from young brothers comin' out of the streets who have no other way to get out. They get attacked all the time, but you don't see Arnold Schwarzenegger movies attacked in the same way, which are a far more visual form of violence. But I would stick up for those movies, too, because they're strong stories. Look at 'The Iliad'. It is all about very violent war.

.

"I don't understand that way of thinking, which is a very sneaky way of trying to control us and keep a certain social order by attacking expression. They say, 'The expression is the cause.' No, that's backwards. The expression is a reflection of a history of human-kind. There is something wrong with that suppression. I think that the imagination and expression of the imagination should be protected as a totally free zone. Obviously there are rules. You don't want to have children exposed to certain things, but all cultures protect their children so thay are prepared for life. Even things that are sick and twisted should be permitted to be expressed in some way because thay are an escape valve. It's when these things are repressed that people act out on them. But I don't know. I'm not a sociologist. It's not my job. I don't wave banners around."---Jarmusch quoted in MovieMaker, Issue No 37, Volume 7.

.

"In the past, when I started to write scripts, and ideas came to me from other films or from books, I would shove them away. In this case ['Ghost Dog'] I accepted them. I think it has to do with music, with bebop and hip-hop. Something opened up in me; like when you listen to Charlie Parker and he plays a solo, but then he quotes a standard in his solo, and weaves it in. I think that finally registered for me, and I decided to construct a film where the door was open for things like Jean-Pierre Melville's 'Le Samourai', Seijun Suzuki's 'Branded to Kill', 'Don Quixote', 'Frankenstein', hip-hop culture ... a lot of things."---Jarmusch quoted in Premiere, February 2000.

.

"A bunch of old white men have run things so far. That's why I've always been interested in people who don't fit it. I have friends who are in prison, off the grid, living on reservations. I learn more from them, somehow, and I respect them."---Jarmusch to The New York Times, February 29, 2000.

.

"I don't know what 'indie film' means anymore. The term has been usurped as a marketing device. The name is like alternative music, they labeled it to make it mainstream. To me, independent film means that the people making the film love cinema as a beautiful form of expression and make the creative decisions without having market analysis to decide what the audience wants the product to be. After all, the beauty of a film is that when you go into a theater, you enter a world, and you have no idea where it's going to take you. Like a piece of music, it sweeps you along in its own rhythm and its own time."---Jarmusch, quoted in Richard Corliss' review of "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai", in Time, March 13, 2000.

.

"For me, mistakes are the most important part of working ... The things you do wrong help you go forward because what you do right, you often can't explain."---Jarmusch to Cate Blanchett in Interview June 2004

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"It's all so . . . independent. I'm so sick of that word. I reach for my revolver when I hear the word 'quirky.' Or 'edgy.' Those words are now becoming labels that are slapped on products to sell them. Anyone who makes a film that is the film they want to make, and it is not defined by marketing analysis or a commercial enterprise, is independent. My movies are kind of made by hand. They're not polished, they're sort of built in the garage. It's more like being an artisan in some way."---Jarmusch to The New York Times, July 31, 2005.

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