Friday, 11 November 2011

Why you should watch Jim Jarmusch's films?

Why? It’s getting cold and very dark outside so for starters so that’s a good reason to hibernate away and catch up on some films. Why Jarmusch? New York has produced many uniquely directors - John Cassavetes, Martin Scorsese, James Toback, Woody Allen, Spike Lee - but for the rawest kind of unpolished cinema there's only one new-wave director to turn to…

Reason 1. characterisation - Jarmusch’s cinematic style is instantly recognisable; tatty, minimalist, a little rough around the edges. He presents displaced, crooked characters, foreign in some way to the place they find themselves in, often transient and lacking a sense of identity. These characters are always oddly fascinating.

Reason 2 - music/soundtrack: Jarmusch’s involvement in the punk and new wave music scenes of the 80’s is evident in his style and his love of music is palpable in all his films. His early absurdist/deadpan comedyStranger than Paradise, opens to The song "I Put a Spell on You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, he often cast musicians such as John Lurie and Tom Wait who starred in his film Down by Law and Neil Young created a haunting soundtrack to his film Dead Man.
Jarmusch uses striking jazz and blues soundtracks to attack the senses, bridging the visual distance provoked by the use of a roughly verity filming style slowed right down to static. 

Reason 3 - cinematography: Let’s not forget the amazing cinematography, thanks to Jarmusch’s working with the likes of talented DPs such as Robby Muller who’s also famed for his work with the great Wenders.

Reason 4 - general coolness: Famed for his maverick film making style, Jarmusch’s films are usually scruffy, minimal and eminate a kind of outcast cool you find on the edge of city centres, in dive bars and clubs. They don’t work hard to tell a story, no, they’re evidently too cool for that. 

Reason 5 - (lack of) narrative: What Jarmusch offers is a series of facts and events which he slowly unveils to you in long uninterrupted takes and with a dark comic edge, most striking in his early film Stranger than Paradise. He presents you with the mundane and dull but really makes you feel like a fly on a grubby wall waiting in anticipation to witness the oddball characters make their next move. 

Reason 6 - philosophical twaddle: At risk of sounding pretentious, this is slow, thoughtful and considered cinema in which Jarmusch is unveiling existence in its simplest, most interesting form but if that doesn’t strike you his style will.

I could go on but I think that will suffice...Still asking why you should watch Jim Jarmusch's films? Well basically because they are good and you would be silly not to.

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