Jim Jarmusch

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Sorry. Actually, now that I reread that review, I think it still sums up how I felt about Ghost Dog. I'm not saying I didn't like Ghost Dog, but only as a stylistic excercise, since it lacked full-blown human characters to identify with. The same could be said about Dead Man, but to a much lesser extent. That film began wonderfully, but towards the end began to feel somewhat alienating. All that mystical mumbo jumbo...

Tuomas (Tuomas), Friday, 18 July 2003 05:32 (nineteen years ago) link

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.  2000.
SYLLABICATION: al·le·go·ry
PRONUNCIATION:   l-gôr, -gr
NOUN: Inflected forms: pl. al·le·go·ries
1a. The representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form. b. A story, picture, or play employing such representation. John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and Herman Melville's Moby Dick are allegories. 2. A symbolic representation: The blindfolded figure with scales is an allegory of justice.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English allegorie, from Latin allgoria, from Greek, from allgorein, to interpret allegorically : allos, other; see al-1 in Appendix I + agoreuein, to speak publicly (from agora, marketplace; see ger- in Appendix I).
OTHER FORMS: alle·gorist —NOUN

gabbneb (gabbneb), Saturday, 19 July 2003 17:26 (nineteen years ago) link

And Ghost Dog is an allegory of what, exactly?

Even if it is, it doesn't change a thing. Down by Law is a modern fable/allegory as well, but it also some emotion in it. Even if you make an allegorical film, you need to have a good plot and good characters. Otherwise people will just admire the cleverness of you allegory, but not the depth of your film.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Monday, 21 July 2003 07:41 (nineteen years ago) link

And Ghost Dog is an allegory of what, exactly?

non-exclusively, some stabs, mostly remembered from or inspired by Rosenbaum's review...

the alienation of the underclass/outcast (you don't talk to no one and you ain't got no friends)?

the ways in which identity and communication/language are changing and the relevance or lack thereof to understanding among different peoples (communication in english, french, spanish, even where those languages aren't spoken; failures of communication in the same language)?

the presence of violence in the modern (this ain't no ancient culture, mister; sometimes it is)?

the difficulty with which institutional status quos (i'm probably doing something horrible to latin there) yield (so i guess you're going to become the new boss now louie; it's not like that, ghost dog)?

a love song to hiphop, in particular its highly-skilled and creative practitioners (taking the couple's clothes at gunpoint; ok, getting the guy's suit fits the story, but why does he steal the woman's clothes; Wu-Tang = "We Usually Take All Niggas Garments")?

i didn't think about this until now, but perhaps every character is defined best by the way in which he or she relates to ghost dog. maybe a way of starting to look at the movie. a rashomon thing. what does ghost dog represent, then? or is this just a formal wrinkle?

If you think it's just a gangsta/samurai/mafia style thing, consider that I have near-zero interest in any of these genres/memes, and ghost dog is one of my favorite movies. I don't know how you miss emotion in it. It's far more pervasive in Dead Man, admittedly, but it's definitely there.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Saturday, 26 July 2003 05:06 (nineteen years ago) link

Rashomon + Don Quixote + RZA = Ghost Dog

Girolamo Savonarola, Saturday, 26 July 2003 05:58 (nineteen years ago) link

non-exclusively, some stabs, mostly remembered from or inspired by Rosenbaum's review...

A quote from the beginning of this review:

Jim Jarmusch's seventh narrative feature, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, which I've seen three times, may be a failure, if only because most of its characters are never developed far enough beyond their mythic profiles to live independently of them. But if it is, it's such an exciting, prescient, moving, and noble failure that I wouldn't care to swap it for even three or four modest successes.

And from the end:

Jarmusch daringly uses Whitaker for the most part as a hulking silent presence, going about his business in purposeful and dedicated mime, but whenever the movie requires the character to be something more than a mythic icon, we don't know quite what to make of him.

...which is more or less what I've thought of the film. As I've said, I don't hate Ghost Dog, not at all, it is simply inferior to other Jarmusch films (with the exception of Permanent Vacation). Like the quoted reviewer, I appreciate Ghost Dog as a stylistical/mythical/cross-cultural (perhaps even allegorical) exercise, but it doesn't really touch me. An interesting failure indeed.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Monday, 28 July 2003 08:19 (nineteen years ago) link

one month passes...
I just saw Ghost Dog this week. It was pretty good.

The scene where all of the old Italian mobsters are sitting around the shop and the landlord comes and gives them grief for not paying the rent was pretty funny. I liked the way he went character for character in the room in the sequence, it is a funny lineup of old tough guys.

earlnash, Friday, 26 September 2003 13:26 (nineteen years ago) link

one month passes...
chip shd come back in and tell us why he loathes him like no other. and then maybe i'll try articulate why i like him like no other.

athos magnani (Cozen), Friday, 14 November 2003 19:28 (nineteen years ago) link

And all this time no one's said shit about Fishing with John!

"Why am I here?"

Jarmusch: "I don't think you should drive?"
Lurie: "Huh? You don't think I should drive? Why? What?"
Jarmusch: "I’ll drive."
Lurie: "You wanna drive?"
Jarmusch: "No."

Girolamo Savonarola, Friday, 14 November 2003 19:48 (nineteen years ago) link

three years pass...
i finally saw dead man. so grotesque but in a pretty/flimsy kind of way (not a bad thing), like each skull or crushed head was a trinket. felt v. filmic, aware, etc, but still pretty moving in parts w/ a lot of great writing going on. that ending is so dark. reminded me of dante and sergio leone. uh one part almost made me cry.

strgn, Monday, 2 April 2007 20:20 (fifteen years ago) link

I really like Ghost Dog and Dead Man. One or two scenes in Night on Earth are ok, and I sort of like the one with Tom Waits, Lurie and Benigni (I forget the name). I think he's a filmmaker who takes some adjusting to.

Hurting 2, Monday, 16 April 2007 04:15 (fifteen years ago) link

four years pass...
seven years pass...

Saw this dude at apple soho today. Grew about 3 chins

calstars, Thursday, 11 October 2018 19:15 (four years ago) link

ten months pass...

I just saw "the dead dont die" and I cant work out if I hated it, or it was really clever and dryly witty. I mean I'll happily watch Adam Driver drly remark "this is gonna end badly" on a loop for 2 hours, and the reviews make me think I missed something, but... enh?

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Monday, 2 September 2019 00:00 (three years ago) link

I know it wasn't loved by most, but some of my favorite people really liked this and I'm looking forward to it

Dan S, Monday, 2 September 2019 00:33 (three years ago) link

It was very Cohen Bros dry. I should have paid it a bit more attention (I didnt see it in a cinema, but at home *coff*)

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Monday, 2 September 2019 00:38 (three years ago) link

More discussion here Veg: It's a sad and beautiful world: the Jim Jarmusch poll.

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Monday, 2 September 2019 00:38 (three years ago) link

erm, Trayce, derp

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Monday, 2 September 2019 00:38 (three years ago) link

Ha yeah I didnt realise I'd posted this on ILF whoops!

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Monday, 2 September 2019 01:02 (three years ago) link

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