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Coffee and Cigarettes.

jim jarmusch, who has made some of my favourite films, has a new film coming out called coffee and cigarettes. this film, from what i understand, is a collection of short films that jarmusch has been making under the same title for a few years now. i haven't seen any of them, regardless.

if you've never seen a jim jarmusch film, you really should. my favourites are, in no particular order, mystery train, dead man, and ghost dog: the way of the samurai.

not one of them is like the other, which is, in itself, a rare thing.


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May. 13th, 2004 07:39 am (UTC)
it's actually not a samurai film. it is, instead, a mix of genres: the gangster film, the western, and the samurai film.

the appeal of jarmusch is, in some way, watching him subvert these genres, and turn them upon their head. but more than that, it's watching the characters he crafts. in any other film, have you seen the friendship that exists between the french ice cream salesman, and whitaker's lone samurai? they never speak a word of the same language, and yet, at no point in the film, do you doubt that a bond exists between them.

and there's that moment when they look down on the guy making a boat in the middle of the city, against the logic of it all.

i dunno, i guess if you reckon it's one of the worse films you've seen, i can't really convince you of what you've missed. there's so much going on it, from the use of the cartoons, and the dead bear, to just about every facet of the film. it is, to me, an utter joy to watch.

and forrest whitaker hasn't had a better role, imho.
May. 13th, 2004 01:00 pm (UTC)
I adored Dead Man - Johnny Depp was perfect, and the surreal and the sublime combined for me wonderfully.

Ghost Dog .. I had a lot of difficulty with. Some parts really moved me: particularly parts with the pigeons, for example. I loved the kind of ritual samurai donning of the sword feel of attaching messages to the pigeons leg. It seemed as centred (in a chi/qi sense) and as regimented as a japanese tea ceremony.

But the overall effect of the component pieces never quite gelled for me. I'd be interested to hear more about why you enjoyed it, if you're willing.
May. 13th, 2004 04:52 pm (UTC)
yeah, i loved dead man, but i actually prefer ghost dog. i think ghost dog and mystery train are my two top favourites, with dead man just a smidge behind.

i guess why i enjoyed it might come down to taste, or what i want from a jarmusch film. i actually view jarmusch as one of the few global directors out there--in this i mean that he isn't constrained by one way of thought, but an americanised view, and that he actually has a view of the world that tries to capture as much of the world in it as he can. this is shown, in ghost dog, through the friendship between ghost dog and the french guy and the little girl and, even, the gangster. their relationships cross boundaries and work without any sugary pap about what a lovely world it'd be if we all liked each other.

but, to return to if you thought it held together or not... i guess i can't express why i thought it did, other than it did, for me. the twisting of the genres, the mashing of them together, the use of the music to meld them, and the cartoon metaphors as forshadows for the violence about to happen... it all simply clicked with me. must be a taste thing, i guess.
May. 13th, 2004 05:01 pm (UTC)
Hmm, food for thought. Thanks for taking the time to explain further.

I can see why you enjoyed it, I think. I agree that the way the relationships crossing boundaries is one of the very powerful strengths of Ghost Dog.

I'm sitting here thinking "yeah, he's so right about that" and yet unable to put into words what didn't work for me. It seems we're both at the same point there - and yet, I'm reluctant to just say "it's down to taste".

I wonder whether we approached the film with different expectations in mind, perhaps, or whether the way you and I approach films is different on a basic level. I've read several of your posts where you discuss films, and I'm getting more of a sense of where the disjunct in our tastes exists - it's boundaries and it's nuances. And I have to admit that that sort of boundary mapping fascinates me, and I like the way you expound upon points in great detail. So, you know, yell if you'd rather I didn't boundary map, and I'll rein in my impulses to consider all your review/film comment posts in detail, K?


And thanks, again.
May. 13th, 2004 05:08 pm (UTC)
that relationship is something in most of jarmusch's films, really. it's quite a fascinating thing.

anyhow, do what you will with the film/review things on this journal. i post them up there so people can read them and do whatever. they keep my mind a bit active, and hopefully provide things of interest in this place for people, so that they come back and keep reading.
May. 14th, 2004 08:25 pm (UTC)
hey ben
hey its alice from the GERRIC spec fic thing over the summer holidays. have fun with ur new bunch of kids!!! hope their as interesting and crazy as we were, although that would be very hard for them.
If the pieces you are getting them to read are different to the ones you got us to read then could you post the list of books on your journal coz im running out of decent books!!!
thanx. luv ali
May. 15th, 2004 02:40 am (UTC)
Re: hey ben
hey there alice--

i don't know how the new class will compete with you guys. i'm not even sure if it's on yet, but i'll know soon enough, i guess. the course is basically the same, though less texts, i think, cause i never go through all of them in the first place, and a different movie, or more on the creative writing side.

if you surf back a bit, there are some books listed on and off through the livejournal, if you're looking for more stuff.

grab the icq number of my details page if you wanna chat more freely. i have to put a screener on the livejournal comments due to spam.
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