Posts Tagged ‘Jim Jarmusch’

Bill Murray, Chloë Sevigny and Adam Driver

“THE DEAD DON’T DIE” My rating: C+

104 minutes | MPAA rating: R

The world really doesn’t need another zombie movie.

On the other hand, the world can always use another Jim Jarmusch movie.

Except, I guess, when it’s a zombie movie.

The latest from the idiosyncratic Jarmusch,  “The Dead Don’t Die,” has been written and played for chuckles.  It adds nothing to the zombie genre (unless you count the last-reel appearance of an alien spaceship) but allows a huge cast of players (Carol Kane and Iggy Pop, for instance, as a couple of the voracious corpses)  to have fun riffing on the whole walking dead phenomenon.

In sleepy Centerville the sheriff, Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray), and his deputy, Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver), spend most of their time drinking coffee and keeping tabs on a forest-dwelling hermit (Tom Waits).

They mediate disputes among the citizenry, folk like a MAGA hat-wearing farmer (Steve Buscemi) and a black handyman (Danny Glover).

All the while,  Deputy Ronnie is oblivious to the fact that his co-worker, Deputy Mindy (Chloe Savigny), has a huge crush on him.

The two lawmen are a sort gun-toting Mutt & Jeff who face each new revelation of horrors with deadpan drollery.


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Adam Driver.

Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani

“PATERSON”  My rating: A-

118 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Nothing much happens in “Paterson.”  Just life.

Turns out that’s more than enough.

The film — about a poetry-writing bus driver named Paterson who lives and works in Paterson NJ — feels like the movie Jim Jarmusch and his seriocomic minimalism have been working toward for decades.

Virtually devoid of conventional melodrama, “Paterson” is about life’s little moments. The most exciting thing that happens is a bus breakdown that forces the driver and passengers to wait at the roadside for an hour.

And yet by concentrating on the little things, the seemingly unremarkable ins and outs of just living, the deadpan hilarity of existence, Jarmusch makes a profound statement about average people living average lives.

The only other film to which I can compare Jarmusch’s latest is Bruce Beresford’s sublime “Tender Mercies,” another film that ignores “events” to observe the gentle unfolding of life.

Paterson (Adam Driver, who gets more out of less than we have any right to expect) has a routine.

Every morning he fixes breakfast and walks to the bus terminal where he climbs into a driver’s seat. Every morning his supervisor sends him off after grousing a bit about the unfairness of life.

Paterson spends his day driving around listening to the conversations of his passengers. He also seems to be a magnet for twins…identical siblings of all ages regularly cross his path.

At home he listens patiently and lovingly to the stream-of-consciousness patter of his beautiful wife Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), whose chiildlike eagerness defies common sense.


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Iggy and the Stooges

Iggy and the Stooges

“GIMME DANGER” My rating: B

108 minutes | MPAA rating: R

More people have heard of Iggy and the Stooges than have actually heard Iggy and the Stooges.

“Gimme Danger” isn’t going to change that.

Jim Jarmusch’s documentary about “the greatest rock’n’roll band ever” is basically a missive from one fan to other fans.

No scholarly analyses. No pontificating critics. Not much historic perspective.

It’s not encyclopedic, it’s not a primer. Jarmusch assumes that if you’re watching it’s because you’re already one of the converted.

Still, “Gimme Shelter” has lots of performance footage which, as much as 50 years after the fact, still has the power to amaze.

A lot of music fans (this writer among them) will tell you that on record the Stooges were…primal, anarchistic and sometimes unlistenable.

But in concert they were fueled by the hypnotizing antics of Iggy (aka Jim Osterberg), the wirey, muscled lead singer who pranced shirtless through every performance, undulating like a cobra, diving head-first into the audience. Think a naked Mick Jagger on speedballs.


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