Jim Jarmusch

How a Legendary William S. Burroughs Documentary Was Lost… and Found 30 Years Later

In 1983, the New York Film Festival screened Burroughs: The Movie, a feature-length documentary about William S. Burroughs — the first such film made about (and with the cooperation of) the legendary author, an expansion of a thesis film by an NYU filmmaker named Howard Brookner (with the help of classmates Jim Jarmusch and Tom DiCillo). Tonight, 31 years later, the NYFF will host a revival screening of that film, which had all but vanished in the intervening years. The film itself is fascinating, but what happened off-screen is even more remarkable, the story of an important document’s disappearance and rediscovery by a young man dedicated to saving it. That young man is Aaron Brookner, nephew of Burroughs director Howard, who spoke to me recently about the picture’s peculiar journey — and his own. … Read More

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The 10 Oddest Elvis-Inspired Movies Of All Time

Into the barren wasteland of late August and early September comes this week’s sole new wide movie release, and you’re forgiven for knowing nothing about it. It’s called The Identical, and it is kinda sorta weirdly about Elvis, except not! There’s a long tradition of this sort of thing — few pop culture figures have inspired more cinematic hypotheticals, dramatizations, and all-out fictions. Here are a few of the weirder ones. … Read More

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Bill Hader Made an Epic List of Essential Movie Comedies; Here’s Where to Stream Them

We all know Bill Hader’s a funny guy; with the release this month of The Skeleton Twins and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, he’s proving himself a pretty damn fine actor as well. But your film editor was heretofore unaware that Mr. Hader is such a movie geek — at least, that’s the impression I’m left with from his epic list of “200 Essential Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See.” It’s part of the new book Poking a Dead Frog by Mike Sachs, shared in full over at xoJane, and it’s a pretty remarkable (and esoteric) gathering of comedies and seriocomic dramas from the 1920s up to the present day. (And, I might add, there’s a good deal of crossover with our own list of the 50 Funniest Movies Ever Made.) So, with an eye on adding to your holiday weekend viewing queue, we combed through Netflix and Hulu Plus to see how many of Hader’s picks are available for your streaming needs. Links, and a few thoughts on his selections, after the jump. … Read More

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Pop Culture’s Most Fashionable Vampires

Jim Jarmusch’s sublime meditation on the vampire myth arrives on Blu-ray August 19. Only Lovers Left Alive unites Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as centuries-old lovers, Adam and Eve, who feast on the finest art, literature, music, and, naturally, blood. But Jarmusch’s movie is hardly a traditional tale of the undead. As our own Judy Berman wrote of the film: … Read More

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100 Famous Directors’ Rules of Filmmaking

Artistic expression is an assertion of individuality, and all artists compose their work differently. In the case of filmmaking, there are numerous approaches to translating a story to celluloid. Inspired by director Wim Wenders’ recent advertising short, “Wim Wenders’ Rules for Cinema Perfection,” we’ve collected the golden rules of filmmaking employed by 100 famous directors. These tips and tricks are a wonderful source of advice and inspiration — even for the most seasoned professionals. The rules also serve as a fascinating snapshot of each directors’ filmography, capturing the spirit of their… Read More

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10 Great Tilda Swinton Performances You Might Have Missed

The Grand Budapest Hotel. Only Lovers Left Alive. And now, Snowpiercer, Bong Joon-ho’s dystopia-on-a-train film. What these three movies have in common is Tilda Swinton, making her somewhat ubiquitous on the big screen in 2014. For years, she’s been one of cinema’s most fascinating figures, and her more mainstream efforts, from the Chronicles of Narnia series to her work with Wes Anderson, have made her a household name. But most of Swinton’s best performances never screened at the multiplex. If you’re looking to dig deeper into her filmography — and you really should be — here are ten great places to… Read More

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Essential Art House Road Movies

A commedia all’italiana classic arrives on Blu-ray via Criterion next week. Dino Risi’s Il sorpasso finds an unlikely duo — the young, shy Roberto (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and the older, freewheeling Bruno (Vittorio Gassman) — on a madcap road trip through Rome, Lazio, and Tuscany. The odd couple’s adventures veer from comedy to tragedy as themes of love, masculinity, repression, and self-discovery are explored. The influential film is a striking portrait of the struggles of modern life in Italy during the 1960s, using the road as a metaphor for discovery and expansion — not only in the case of Roberto and Bruno, but also the national identity. Here are other 10 other art house road films that journey down similar paths. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ and the Tragedy of Time in Artistic Lives

Mortality has its own way of haunting everyone, but for me it often manifests as vague anxiety about running out of time. In the short term, that means constant, low-level resentment over the inability to write or travel or even sleep as much as I’d like. What upsets me more, though, is when I get to thinking about the half-century or so I have left on this planet (if I’m lucky), and I remember that even if I dropped all my responsibilities and started devouring them in earnest, I could never read all the great books that have ever been published. I won’t ever finish watching every brilliant film or hear every transcendent piece of music or take in every masterpiece of visual art, either. And what if I had any ambitions about adding to that canon? … Read More

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15 of the Most Decadent Movies Ever Made

Leave it to indie auteur Jim Jarmusch to create a vampire “hang-out” movie — one where the gorgeous and cultured undead “spend most of their time in their rooms, devouring books and music and bottled blood.” Jarmusch’s vamps are poetic idols of decadent decay, languid and spellbinding. It’s a seductive world we’ve attempted to hang onto just a little bit longer by exploring a similar decadence in these 15… Read More

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