It's a sad and beautiful world: the Jim Jarmusch poll.

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I know many of you will disagree, but to me this guy is the best American director still making movies. So let's do a poll on him.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Dead Man (1995) 16
Down by Law (1986) 15
Stranger Than Paradise (1984) 13
Mystery Train (1989) 9
Ghost Dog (1999) 8
Broken Flowers (2005)3
Year of the Horse (1997) 0
Night on Earth (1991) 0
Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) 0
Permanent Vacation (1980) 0


Tuomas, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 15:23 (eleven years ago) link

It's a hard choice for me, because I basically think all of his films besides Permanent Vacation and Ghost Dog are great (and even those two have many great moments). I think I'll have to vote for Down by Law, because few other films so perfectly sum the way I feel about life.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 15:26 (eleven years ago) link

down by law, though i need to see it again

n/a, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 15:29 (eleven years ago) link

GHOST...DOG?

Hurting 2, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 15:36 (eleven years ago) link

i don't think he's topped 'mystery train' since he made that (dead man comes close, I guess); broken flowers was so disappointing. so, mystery train!

akm, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 15:42 (eleven years ago) link

torn between down by law and ghost dog, voted ghost dog.

i didn't think broken flowers was all that bad, but i didn't expect it to be good either.

Jordan, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:08 (eleven years ago) link

i've only seen 5 of these btw

Jordan, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:09 (eleven years ago) link

Mystery Train is a sentimental favorite but something about Stranger than Paradise made me choose it.

Trip Maker, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:18 (eleven years ago) link

Broken Flowers is better than Coffee & Cigarettes; still awful

"Mystery Train" because nothing else I've seen was particularly exciting.

milo z, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:21 (eleven years ago) link

'ghost dog'

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:22 (eleven years ago) link

Dead Man just about over Ghost Dog.

Noodle Vague, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:23 (eleven years ago) link

Can't decide between "Dead Man" and "Mystery Train."

Alex in NYC, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:28 (eleven years ago) link

i liked broken flowers. i haven't seen any other jarmusch film though.

Mark Clemente, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:32 (eleven years ago) link

Nick OTM, "Down by Law" never stops working for me. "Ghost Dog" is pretty great, too, but requires... I dunno... one more half a layer of distance to appreciate.

kenan, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:36 (eleven years ago) link

(i'm not going to vote.)

Mark Clemente, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:39 (eleven years ago) link

Broken Flowers was underwhelming upon my first viewing. It has become one of my fave movies upon subsequent viewings. Down By Law is such a beautiful movie.

chaki, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 18:29 (eleven years ago) link

down by law

gff, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 18:30 (eleven years ago) link

broken flowers was really good, chaki otm

omar little, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 18:32 (eleven years ago) link

Dead Man is almost as good as Ghost Dog, but Ghost Dog has RZA beats.

Hurting 2, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 18:33 (eleven years ago) link

that mulatu soundtrack!

chaki, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 18:34 (eleven years ago) link

yes!

omar little, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 18:37 (eleven years ago) link

Mystery Train

but I could have just as easily voted for any of these:

Night on Earth
Dead Man
Stranger Than Paradise
Down by Law
Ghost Dog

nicky lo-fi, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 18:41 (eleven years ago) link

GHOST...DOG?

...HE'S Gay

gabbneb, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 19:04 (eleven years ago) link

I've seen all but the first (though it's now in my dvd library) and the last two, and like Mystery Train the least

gabbneb, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 19:05 (eleven years ago) link

I don't know the answer yet

gabbneb, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 19:05 (eleven years ago) link

just put mystery train and dead man on my queue

Jordan, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 19:08 (eleven years ago) link

and yet the world continues to turn...

n/a, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 19:08 (eleven years ago) link

i'm going to act like that wasn't an xpost

n/a, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 19:09 (eleven years ago) link

no, the world pretty much waits for me, actually

gabbneb, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 19:10 (eleven years ago) link

stranger than paradise

nothing beats the five minute shot of dude drinking his beer

lucas pine, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 23:35 (eleven years ago) link

lol @ "all but the first two and the last two"

+ mystery train ftw

roxymuzak, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 23:54 (eleven years ago) link

lol @ "all but the first two and the last two"

learn to read better

gabbneb, Thursday, 13 December 2007 00:21 (eleven years ago) link

coffee and cigarettes is terrible. i like ghost dog and dead man. i havent seen anything else

deej, Thursday, 13 December 2007 00:41 (eleven years ago) link

In order, but the first four are pretty close:
Dead Man (1995)
Ghost Dog (1999)
Mystery Train (1989)
Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
Broken Flowers (2005)
Down by Law (1986)
Night on Earth (1991) (this mostly weak, but the paris, new york and helsinki bits all have moments--the la bit is the worst thing he's ever done)
Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) (also mostly garbage, but I seem to remember a few good bits.)

Haven't seen, don't care about:
Permanent Vacation (1980)
Year of the Horse (1997)

Alex in SF, Thursday, 13 December 2007 00:58 (eleven years ago) link

I lean toward Ghost Dog over Dead Man because I think it's more stylish and because the-inner-city-is-dying is more relevant than indians-died-a-long-time-ago, and because I think he gets the tri-state area a little better than the West. Greater reach than STP, sure, but not sure they're really better. Night on Earth was my first and yes the LA part sucks and I hate Roberto Benigni but while I haven't seen it in ages I think fake Spike Lee and fake Kaurismaki and faux whoever might still feel more soulful than any of his others.

I think I'm going to make a policy of not seeing Bill Murray movies from now on. No offense, you know.

I never intended to see Year of the Horse, but it's not a bad movie, even if you don't care about Neil.

gabbneb, Thursday, 13 December 2007 01:05 (eleven years ago) link

i like it!

chaki, Thursday, 13 December 2007 01:06 (eleven years ago) link

more relevant than indians-died-a-long-time-ago

ok, sure it has lots of more current more-than-overtones, but they just aren't all that interesting

gabbneb, Thursday, 13 December 2007 01:06 (eleven years ago) link

wait, I've never really watched Down By Law straight ("straight") through, have I?

gabbneb, Thursday, 13 December 2007 01:08 (eleven years ago) link

lol, college

gabbneb, Thursday, 13 December 2007 01:08 (eleven years ago) link

Down By Law has not aged well.

Alex in SF, Thursday, 13 December 2007 01:14 (eleven years ago) link

maybe it's just a lot easier to feel sad for Forest Whittaker than it is for Johnny Depp

gabbneb, Thursday, 13 December 2007 01:14 (eleven years ago) link

Well I don't think you are really supposed to feel sad for Johnny Depp.

Alex in SF, Thursday, 13 December 2007 01:15 (eleven years ago) link

The indie/artsy/outsider voice wanted to vote for Down By Law or Stranger Than Paradise. But the viewer in me won out and voted Mystery Train. Mainly because of it's repeatability. Screamin Jay Hawkins & Cinque Lee? Absolutely classic. &fwiw, Permanent Vacation was bad. Bad, bad.

Bobbi Peru, Thursday, 13 December 2007 01:36 (eleven years ago) link

Well I don't think you are really supposed to feel sad for Johnny Depp.

no I suppose not, but for what he represents I meant

gabbneb, Thursday, 13 December 2007 01:54 (eleven years ago) link

that Gary Farmer is so good-natured and has such funny sayings and no wonky eye

gabbneb, Thursday, 13 December 2007 01:55 (eleven years ago) link

learn to read better

*takes a reading course*

what you said is still retarded

roxymuzak, Thursday, 13 December 2007 02:04 (eleven years ago) link

i guess calling me names is a way to get me to pay attention to you. which, you know, i would never do otherwise.

gabbneb, Thursday, 13 December 2007 02:11 (eleven years ago) link

*takes a caring course*

roxymuzak, Thursday, 13 December 2007 02:12 (eleven years ago) link

i'm gonna see the golden compass tonight

omar little, Thursday, 13 December 2007 02:26 (eleven years ago) link

i know nothing about it!

omar little, Thursday, 13 December 2007 02:26 (eleven years ago) link

seems clear by the end of the story that they will end up together even though they go their separate ways

Dan S, Sunday, 16 June 2019 02:14 (one month ago) link

I like how they try to outdo each other with their cool guy schticks. It's a funny take on their real life personas.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Sunday, 16 June 2019 02:46 (one month ago) link

yes!

Dan S, Sunday, 16 June 2019 02:50 (one month ago) link

I'll meet up with you again in a wee whiley - in the cemetary!

☮ (peace, man), Sunday, 16 June 2019 04:12 (one month ago) link

Tilda’s all-right angle turns walking up to the police station had me cracking up

mh, Monday, 17 June 2019 02:07 (one month ago) link

Loved this

space invaders are smokin penises!!!! (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 17 June 2019 02:23 (one month ago) link

A black comedy of the anthropocene (polar fracking screwing with the Earth's tilt and rotation is intriguing and timely). Tilda Swinton's otherworldly performance is delightful. But I can only say "Meh" to the rest of the film.

Anne Hedonia (j.lu), Monday, 17 June 2019 12:32 (one month ago) link

I liked it ok, but wasn't really on board with the repetitiveness of some of the jokes. There were people in the theater who laughed out loud the third time the Sturgill Simpson song played though, so maybe I'm the weird one. It was a good song, so hopefully I'll stop being sick of it already sooner or later. I don't know - I haven't actually seen a Jarmusch movie since the early 2000s, so maybe I just need to reacquaint myself with the feel of his other work. Everybody's performances were excellent though.

And there was obviously a lot of bleak social commentary about climate change and materialism and racism, but I was kinda left wondering how it all tied together.

☮ (peace, man), Monday, 17 June 2019 13:05 (one month ago) link

Yeah this was pretty much exactly what I was prepared for & expecting – a totally light, silly, largely aimless goof, mostly just an excuse to enjoy the screen presence of a bunch of interesting performers, which I’m totally fine with.

My only real nitpicks were that I didn’t like the meta stuff between Murray and Driver, especially the ‘script’ routines at the end – ymmv but I hate kind of schtick, reminds me of bad 90s mel brooks movies. Was honestly kind of surprised that Jarmusch would do such a corny & overdone gag like that, but w/e. The only one of those bits I liked was when Bill Murray snapped “are we improvising?”, which made me laugh, but mostly due to his delivery.

Also weird that the plotline with the three teens in blue goes nowhere (Ned I assume this is what you were referring to upthread?). Unless I missed something, did the reappear in the finale or something?

One Eye Open, Monday, 17 June 2019 14:20 (one month ago) link

I generally hate how streaming TV has sucked up so much film talent over the last bunch of years, but watching this I thought that this mode of Jarmusch would be kind of a perfect fit for that medium – I can totally imagine enjoying something like this movie extended over twelve 30min episodes or whatever, just a total no-stakes Andy Griffith-style ramble through a weird town with an endless succession of character actors and celeb cameos doing charming little scenes, interrupted by occasional zombie attacks, with no real plot to resolve or anything.

One Eye Open, Monday, 17 June 2019 14:27 (one month ago) link

it felt like Jarmusch’s version of one of those comedy films that parodies a genre, scary movie or whatever

i read a comment about how the zombies seeking out things from their life was poorly done and i’m like... that’s the joke?

mh, Monday, 17 June 2019 16:37 (one month ago) link

i read a comment about how the zombies seeking out things from their life was poorly done and i’m like... that’s the joke?

Shawn of the Dead did much better with the metaphor of zombies as people going blindly through their lives.

Also weird that the plotline with the three teens in blue goes nowhere

Unless they're somewhere in the final zombie melee, their plot was left hanging. Could they have been a Stranger Things shoutout (difficulty: I haven't seen ST)?

Anne Hedonia (j.lu), Monday, 17 June 2019 17:34 (one month ago) link

No, not a Stranger Things shoutout to be sure.

It stood out that this small sleepy town that seemed to have a population of about twelve would have this crowded juvenile detention center with roided-out skinhead guards.

☮ (peace, man), Monday, 17 June 2019 18:03 (one month ago) link

i read a comment about how the zombies seeking out things from their life was poorly done and i’m like... that’s the joke?

― mh, Monday, June 17, 2019 12:37 PM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

It's been 40 years since Dawn of the Dead and the whole "zombie people wandering blindly from day-to-day at things like malls" thing. I think a zombie Iggy looking for coffee is a real funny version of it. I think zombies wandering around going "wi-fiiii" "blueee-toooth" is too close to trenchant WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY DO U SEE for my personal comfort, but I can't exactly blame a 66 year old for not being on my level of internet irony

space invaders are smokin penises!!!! (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 17 June 2019 18:10 (one month ago) link

see also movie geek gas station guy DRINKIN A DEW

space invaders are smokin penises!!!! (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 17 June 2019 18:10 (one month ago) link

xxp I dunno, giant crowded detention centers are pretty much a main industry of sleepy small town America at this point honestly

One Eye Open, Monday, 17 June 2019 18:13 (one month ago) link

I guess the whole "zombies are sheeple" thing was the OG Dawn of the Dead, and the "Zombies gravitate to what they like" thing is a little more contemporary

space invaders are smokin penises!!!! (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 17 June 2019 18:13 (one month ago) link

Either way, I recall seeing a zombie try to hit a tamborine with no drum in one of the '00s Romero reboots maybe?

I once wanted to start a zombie sludge-noise band called BRAINS that was just us pawing at our instruments and sounding like Flipper or something.

space invaders are smokin penises!!!! (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 17 June 2019 18:16 (one month ago) link

I was getting ready to roll my eyes at the DO U SEE element of Buscemi's red hat, but the grammatical nonsense of "keep america white again" actually made me laugh so I gotta hand it to him

One Eye Open, Monday, 17 June 2019 18:19 (one month ago) link

yeah, that is a good gag

space invaders are smokin penises!!!! (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 17 June 2019 18:23 (one month ago) link

I thought it was trying for trenchant-as-lol tbh

Buscemi was the racist guy because a bunch of these movies have a stereotypical racist asshole guy!

so many of the scenes seemed like "well, we've got to have a lazy guy, and some kind of commentary about how we're all truly zombies in society, and we need to have some obvious reference to Romero films, but we're going to sabotage it by outright telling the audience it's a REAL GEORGE ROMERO CAR"

then there were the things that were just gags, like Driver's character driving a smart

mh, Monday, 17 June 2019 18:49 (one month ago) link

I once wanted to start a zombie sludge-noise band called BRAINS that was just us pawing at our instruments and sounding like Flipper or something.

― space invaders are smokin penises!!!! (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, June 17, 2019 11:16 AM (thirty-four minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

down for this

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 17 June 2019 18:52 (one month ago) link

That was like 06/07/08? Man, I would have beaten epic bacon Ron Swanson Internet to the punch somewhat and could have been making FAT CASH by now

space invaders are smokin penises!!!! (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 18 June 2019 02:30 (one month ago) link

I like that idea as inscrutable as it is

Dan S, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 02:36 (one month ago) link

I’m in Los Angeles area now, I could probably hook up some people who know how to do sick zombie makeup and just play gigs at like Fantastic Fest and cons or whatever

space invaders are smokin penises!!!! (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 18 June 2019 03:36 (one month ago) link

I guess the whole "zombies are sheeple" thing was the OG Dawn of the Dead, and the "Zombies gravitate to what they like" thing is a little more contemporary

"Zombies gravitate to what they like" definitely comes from the OG Dawn of the Dead - it's why the zombies are surrounding the shopping mall - somebody even says, "This place was important to them".

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 05:25 (one month ago) link

Yeah this was pretty much exactly what I was prepared for & expecting – a totally light, silly, largely aimless goof, mostly just an excuse to enjoy the screen presence of a bunch of interesting performers, which I’m totally fine with.

― One Eye Open, Monday, June 17, 2019 10:20 AM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Accurate assessment of the movie but I'm not fine with JJ phoning it in like this. I mean, why bother? There's half a dozen stars, a decent setup, tone was good, but this went NOWHERE. rehashed everything Dawn of the Dead had to say 41 years ago plus "wiiiifiiiii" / "bluuuuuuetoooooooth." not looking for trenchant social commentary from him, but christ, punch the script up, give these great actors something to do.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 23:56 (one month ago) link

definitely better than Stranger Than Paradise though

flappy bird, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 23:56 (one month ago) link

:)

haven't seen it but wasn't its devolution into grim stasis meant to be intentional, a reflection of our current world? I thought I remember Nicholas Rapold and Amy Taubin talking about it in one of the Cannes podcasts

Dan S, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 01:08 (one month ago) link

remembered

Dan S, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 01:12 (one month ago) link

nice

space invaders are smokin penises!!!! (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 19 June 2019 01:28 (one month ago) link

"grim stasis" is not only generous but inaccurate, it's not grim, it's too cute to ever be grim. I found this frustrating because the actors are all great, setup is good, and that's it... the tone is great, a mix of his last two movies Paterson (didn't like at the time but has really grown on me) and Only Lovers Left Alive (which I hated). really too many stars that are given short shrift. I don't think it succeeds as commentary since it's all reheated DOTD with nothing new. Everything in this movie is left unexplored. I liked the meta stuff, but fuck, go further with it! the grammatical joke with Buscemi's hat was great. wish the cast was pared down or it was longer, leaving the juvie kids hanging is a bizarre choice.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 02:25 (one month ago) link

ok, will have to see it

Dan S, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 02:45 (one month ago) link

I don't think it succeeds as commentary since it's all reheated DOTD with nothing new.

To Dan S's point, it's 'Dawn of the Dead' but the new part is responding to a zombie attack with grim resignation and droll irony

space invaders are smokin penises!!!! (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 19 June 2019 02:46 (one month ago) link

He's been phoning it in for a long time

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 19 June 2019 03:40 (one month ago) link

I loved Paterson and Broken Flowers!

was ambivalent about Only Lovers Left Alive but I think I would like it if I saw it again

Dan S, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 04:00 (one month ago) link

Only Lovers Left Alive is the only one I sort of liked. Dead Man is the last film of his I genuinely loved.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 19 June 2019 04:17 (one month ago) link

I don't think it succeeds as commentary since it's all reheated DOTD with nothing new.
To Dan S's point, it's 'Dawn of the Dead' but the new part is responding to a zombie attack with grim resignation and droll irony

― space invaders are smokin penises!!!! (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, June 18, 2019 10:46 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

it sounds good on paper... and ilx...

flappy bird, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 05:00 (one month ago) link

This was fun until about the halfway point

Got your butt drank (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 19 June 2019 05:03 (one month ago) link

sayin

flappy bird, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 05:09 (one month ago) link

I hated Only Lovers Left Alive so much it almost put me off Jarmusch completely, largely because it was so serious and portentous but had basically nothing to back it up, idea-wise.

This worked for me bc it was self aware of how inessential it was imho, just sort of a collection of vignettes & variations on a theme. The Jarmusch film I'd compare it to the most would be Mystery Train - nothing really going on intellectually, but just an enjoyable collection of actors & scenery. I can see being disappointed if you expected more or thinking that its a good cast wasted etc, but I don't think it would have been improved by giving any of the actors a chance to really show their chops or anything.

One Eye Open, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 13:04 (one month ago) link

Similarly, I took the politics and social commentary stuff as basically just being in there as a superficial nod to genre tropes. Like obviously he hates trump & global warming and stuff but I dont think theres much to unpack there tbh

One Eye Open, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 13:09 (one month ago) link

Paterson was NOT a phone-in.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 19 June 2019 13:23 (one month ago) link

saw Dead Don't Die yesterday and i think it's interesting to think about, but not exactly recommendable as a movie to watch. it doesn't work very well as a horror-comedy (for me) - it's never scary, and the laughs, even the arch ones, are rare. but that seems to be the result of deliberate choices to create this dry, unhurried tone. less a nightmare than one of those unpleasant and boring dreams that loops back on itself and never goes anywhere. i think the idea is that's where we're at in the anthropocene, etc. ironic 80s/90s listlessness (personified by murray) arrives to the 2010s and finds more of the same; his cliche-spotting hipster descendants are equally doomed. BUT some hope still rests with the self-motivated, boundary-refusing teens. optimistic, if in an oldster "i guess we failed, but maybe you kids will succeed" sort of way. anyway i think this is why the juvenile offenders vanish/escape from the movie.

the more overt touches of wackiness may unfortunately act as red herrings, giving the impression wants to be an over-the-top zany thing and is just failing at it. which isn't as interesting so i'd rather not dwell on it.

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 2 July 2019 13:40 (three weeks ago) link

with the exception of the expenditure on decent zombie makeup, it might be one of the laziest movies I've ever seen

if it wasn't Jarmusch I'd say it'd take a lot of effort to *appear* to be that lazy

mh, Tuesday, 2 July 2019 14:05 (three weeks ago) link

The only big lol besides tiny car i had was those Sturgill Simpson cds being 12.99 when they had one song on them

Fuck Trump, cops, and the CBP (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 2 July 2019 14:10 (three weeks ago) link

just saw Dead Man for the first time, I liked it but it not nearly as much as Stranger Than Paradise or Down By Law

Dan S, Friday, 12 July 2019 00:41 (one week ago) link

it was beautiful as all of his films are, but it didn't seem as inspired to me. maybe I need to see it again in a couple of years

Dan S, Friday, 12 July 2019 00:57 (one week ago) link

I wasn't expecting much from Mystery Train or Night on Earth as short story anthologies, but I loved them both

Dan S, Friday, 12 July 2019 01:03 (one week ago) link

this was great until it was bad but i dont think ill let the swing to the latter affect my enjoyment of the former

phil neville jacket (darraghmac), Wednesday, 17 July 2019 22:23 (one week ago) link


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