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Jim Jarmusch Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (2) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (15) | Personal Quotes (13)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 22 January 1953Akron, Ohio, USA
Birth NameJames R. Jarmusch
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Moved to New York City at the age of seventeen from Akron, Ohio. Graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English, class of '75. Without any prior film experience, he was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, New York.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: J. Pae

Jarmusch came to New York City from Akron, Ohio to study at Columbia and NYU's film school. He would also study film at the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris. He worked as an assistant on Lightning Over Water (1980), a film by Nicholas Ray and Wim Wenders, before making his first film, _Permanent Vacation (1982)_, made for roughly $15,000. After much hustling, he found a German producer by the name of Otto Grokenberger, who stayed out of his way and provided him with complete artistic control. The result was the highly stimulating Stranger Than Paradise (1984), a film he structured around Screamin' Jay Hawkins' song, "I Put A Spell On You", and which would go on to win the Camera D'Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ari Grief <agrief@yorku.ca>

Trade Mark (3)

Stationary camera (deadpan). His films often involve travlers as well as life after midnight. Shows and views the American landscape from a non-commercial viewpoint (e.g. the tavern were everybody knows your name instead of franchised stripmalls)
Often casts musicians as actors in his films
Salt & pepper hair

Trivia (15)

On Feb. 2, 1994, Jarmusch appeared for an interview before an audience on the first night of a retrospective of his films held by the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis, MN.
Chris Parker, who starred in Jarmusch's first film Permanent Vacation (1980) was a friend of Jarmusch's and had never acted before (according to a 2/2/94 interview with Jarmusch). When Jarmusch submitted "Permanent Vacation" to Tisch as his film thesis/project, they wouldn't accept it - apparently, they didn't think it was worth their time
Is the older brother of Ann and Tom Jarmusch.
Good friend of Aki Kaurismäki, Finnish director of The Man Without a Past (2002). Placed the final segment of his movie Night on Earth (1991) in Finland with the three characters speaking Finnish.
Up until 2005, has never made a film under a studio's watch.
Attended Columbia University.
Once almost died from eating wild mushrooms, which resulted in an interest in the study of mushroom.
Doesn't allow his movies to be dubbed for foreign movie markets. They are mostly shown with subtitles in other countries.
He owns the negatives to all his own films, except one, Year of the Horse (1997), which he made for Neil Young
Father worked at the Goodrich tire plant in Akron, Ohio. Mother reviewed films for the Akron Beacon Journal.
Although Broken Flowers (2005) came out after Lost in Translation (2003), Jarmusch wrote the script exclusively for Bill Murray before Sofia Coppola.
Has lived with his girlfriend, filmmaker Sara Driver, for 20 years. [2005]
At college one of his professors was cult director Nicholas Ray. They formed a friendship and Jarmusch became his assistant for the making of a film.
Founder member of "the Sons of Lee Marvin". Other members include Tom Waits, Thurston Moore John Lurie Nick Cave. Membership requires a plausible likeness to Lee Marvin such that you could be rumored to be his son.
Guest with Johnny Depp of Belgrade Film Festival FEST in 1992.

Personal Quotes (13)

I know. 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.
I consider myself a dilettante in a positive way, and I always have. That affects my sense of filmmaking.
I feel so lucky. During the late 70's in New York, anything seemed possible. You could make a movie or a record and work part time, and you could find an apartment for 160 bucks a month. And the conversations were about ideas. No one was talking about money. It was pretty amazing. But looking back is dangerous. I don't like nostalgia. But, still, damn, it was fun. I'm glad I was there.
I prefer to be subcultural rather than mass-cultural. I'm not interested in hitting the vein of the mainstream.
I'm happiest when I'm shooting the movie. Filming is like sex. Writing the script is like seduction, then shooting is like sex because you're doing the movie with other people. Editing is like being pregnant, and then you give birth and they take your baby away. After this process is done, I will watch the movie one more time with a paying audience that doesn't know I'm there, and then I will never see it again. I'm so sick of it.
I'm stubborn. I have to fight. The studios want to be your partner in the creative process. That's why I find most of my financing overseas. I don't let the Money give me notes on my scripts. I don't allow the Money on the set. I don't allow the Money in the editing room. These days, even the little independent studios, they act like Hollywood. Some kid is making a movie for $500,000, and they want the final cut. Seems like the squares are taking over everything.
I never talk to actors as a group. Only one at a time. I talk to them about being their characters. Never, ever, about the meaning of the scene. I don't want the actors overladen with research, so they grow stale.
Aw, man, is that the only adjective they know? It's like every time I make a goddamn movie, the word "quirky" is hauled out in the American reviews. Now I see it's being applied to Wes Anderson, too. All of a sudden, his films are quirky. And Sofia Coppola is quirky. It's just so goddamn lazy.
I am interested in the non-dramatic moments in life. I'm not at all attracted to making films that are about drama. A few years back, I saw a biopic about a famous American abstract expressionist artist. And you know what? It really horrified me. All they did was reduce his life to the big dramatic moments you could pick out of any biography. If that's supposed to be a portrait of somebody, I just don't get it. It's so reductive. It just seems all wrong to me.
It's great that the audience have their own different takes on what they have just seen, and don't know all the answers. Often, I don't know all the answers either.
The beauty of life is in small details, not in big events.
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."
I have no desire to make films for any kind of specific audience. What I want to do is make films that... tell stories, but somehow in an new way, not in a predictable form, not in the usual manipulative way that films seem to on their audiences.

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