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.