A few good things fell into place and I fell onto my couch and subsequently fell back in love with Jim Jarmusch. Jarmusch has earned his place as a legendary cult film director by making movies such as Dead Man, Down By Law and Coffee and Cigarettes.
The three films mentioned above inspire me every time I see them. When I was in film school, I made a point to watch as many movies by auteur directors as I could and I would drink wine and tell everyone in the apartment in Santa Cruz to shut the fuck up and they did and the movies were great especially when they were David Lynch or Jean-Luc Godard ones. One time my friend Jordy upset me because I thought he was being pompous, and I left the living room and cooped up in my bedroom and didn’t talk to him for two days and the movie I missed was Mulholland Drive. I had to watch that one on my own. Jordy never apologized but he didn’t need to because I was being young and dumb, as were my tendencies.
One of the times we piled into that living room in Santa Cruz, which sometimes reminded me of an awful sitcom stage, we watched Jim Jarmusch. The easiest and perhaps most popular work of his is Coffee and Cigarettes which is a piece of art that a lot of us kids want to emulate on our own but we don’t have that ’80s/’90s “go fucking do it” attitude. The film has a feeling of a great hip-hop album — each vignette rocks the screen and gives you a different feeling. One bit completely different from the next, but still providing the sensitivity as the last. So, we watched it on that shitty sitcom stage and made bad promises about making our own versions of it.
Later that year, my brother Bradley and I watched Dead Man and Down By Law — the latter of which I still find to be one of my favorite films. But I am not here to tell you of the picture perfect Roberto Benigni and Tom Waits. Nor am I here to tell you of Dead Man and how the ghost of Johnny Depp gave Bradley further inspiration to be a cowboy which he seems to be closer and closer to fully committing to.
I am here because I’m lost. I feel the soulless pain of being down and out and hungover and the truth is that my actual life at the moment doesn’t reflect that feeling. It’s not depression. It’s resignation to the dreariness of the world. It’s refreshing though.
The other day when I fell into my couch, I found out that the Jim Jarmusch film I had yet to see was on YouTube in full. It’s there for splendid glory and I urge you to watch it next time it rains on you or next time your local spot is blown out. Watch John Lurie be unstoppable. Then listen to his music. Then go look at his art and see how unmovable it is and then go back and gather your buddies into the living room that looks like a shitty sitcom stage and watch Coffee and Cigarettes and then drink as much coffee as you can and get into an argument with your friend and then never talk about it again.
I’m just sad because there’s no more Jim Jarmusch films for me to watch and I want the world to be in black and white and it’s how I want my movies to look and I’m worried they never will look that way and anyways here’s the link. Go watch it on YouTube.—Jeff Alper