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Permanent Vacation (1980)

A young slacker wanders New York City searching for some meaning in life and encounters many idiosyncratic characters.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Parker ...
Allie
Leila Gastil ...
Leila
...
Sax player
Richard Boes ...
War vet
...
Nurse
Charlie Spademan ...
Patient
Jane Fire ...
Nurse
Ruth Bolton ...
Mother
Evelyn Smith ...
Patient
María Duval ...
Latin girl
Lisa Rosen ...
Popcorn girl
...
Man in lobby
Suzanne Fletcher ...
Girl in car
Felice Rosser ...
Woman by mailbox
Eric Mitchell ...
Car fence
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Storyline

In downtown Manhattan, a twenty-something boy ('Chris Parker')whose Father is not around and whose Mother is institutionalized, is a big Charlie Parker fan. He almost subconsciously searches for more meaning in his life and meets a few characters along the way. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

26 July 1986 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Dauernd Ferien  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is featured on second disc of the Stranger Than Paradise (1984) DVD released in 2007 by the Criterion Collection. See more »

Goofs

The reflection of Leila sitting in the chair shows the the back of the chair near to the mirror, when all other shots have it the other side of Leila. See more »

Quotes

Allie: [reading from a book] She has dropped a roll of paper from her breast. A stranger picks it up, shuts himself in his room all night, and reads the manuscript, which contains the following: When she ventured out with her silk net, on the end of a russ, chasing the wild, free hummingbird. Send me one and I, in return, will wreath a garland of violets, mint, and geraniums. I was not present at the event of which my daughter's death was the result. If I had been, I would have defended that angel at ...
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Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

My Boyfriend's Back
Written by Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, and Richard Gottehrer
Performed by The Angels
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User Reviews

 
as tedious as it is beautifully filmed, without form and very much the student film
2 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jim Jarmusch is a filmmaker I'll always admire and will see anything he puts out. Perhaps though my expectations of his student film, Permanent Vacation, were a little high as I thought this could be the link to Stranger Than Paradise as Who's That Knocking and Mean Streets were perfectly connected for Scorsese. This is not the case, at least from what I got from the film. It's an exercise in the mundane and plot less, a tale of a vagabond type character who may or may not be nuts, who has an insane mother, and usually just loafs around the more deconstructed and decaying parts of lower Manhattan. There are some chances for it becoming more interesting than it does, and it's really because it's a case of a filmmaker finding his footing and not getting there yet.

A few bits are noteworthy in the kind of fascination that comes with watching Jarmusch's characters- like when Allie (Chris Parker) dances to the jazz record in his apartment, or the very random scene on the island. And there's a grin for a bit part for John Lurie. But there almost comes a point where the randomness becomes too diverting, and the script and (obvious) amateurs don't help matters. A monologue in a movie theater- which another commenter said was beautiful- is rambling and loses its point even as Jarmusch sorta goes back to it. Part of that scene is interesting, but it's before the monologue with the Nicholas Ray movie. Parker as an actor has that cool, quiet swagger that would be found in Stranger Than Paradise, but he also can't carry the dialog that well (particularly in the odd voice-overs).

The end of the film caps it off as he just decides to leave New York City for good on a ship. This might have a little more resonance if what led up to it had one feeling much more for Parker than distance. Permanent Vacation is like a condensed, rough, patch-work example of everything that is wrong and sometimes right with Jarmusch's work, like an early demo from some rocker who hasn't quite got the gist of everything from his inspirations. What's right with the work is that it's very well shot, particularly for an ultra low-budget drama, co-DP'd by later talent Tom DiCillo. In the end, I almost found that the film was like a Godard work, though the ones really from the 80s as opposed to those of the 60s. It's got an artist's eye and the occasional touch of grace, but it's also a jumble of a sketchpad of what's really in the filmmaker's gifts. It is unique in that you can tell who made it, that it's not another write-off of a future hack. That it doesn't really spell the promise of Jarmusch's other 80's classics is harder to figure.


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