Jim Jarmusch is one of my favorite directors. He mixes camp, science fiction talk, abstract art, music, and Tom Waits with ease. He is not afraid to be weird at any given moment during a film. I love weird people more than anything and Jim Jarmusch is my favorite. Just look at a picture of him and you will see a mash up of David Bowie and a lanky rockabilly hipster. Who looks at that and says that he is going to be this man is going to make a mazing films? I wouldn’t. I would say that he probably makes some insane music and struts around New York City saying how much he misses the grimy seventies version more than life itself.
He makes great films. With the exception of The Limits of Control, I have seen most of his films and loved each one. My favorite has to be Coffee and Cigarettes. Coffee and Cigarettes is a film compiled of a series of vignettes. These vignettes consist of conversations with character actors, musicians, and comedians. It isn’t like interview style however. They just sit at tables, drink coffee, smoke cigarettes and have conversations about weird things. Just an example of people in this film are: Robert Benigni, Steven Wright, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Cate Blanchett, Jack White, Meg White, Alfred Molina, Steve Coogan, RZA, GZA, and Bill Murray.
Surreal conversations happen during these vignettes. Jack White makes a Tesla Coil and shows Meg White. RZA and GZA fawn over Bill Murray in a diner. Steve Buscemi rambles on and on about Elvis Presely’s evil twin. Tom Waits and Iggy Pop talk about old music and coffee and cigarettes. Every conversation is crazy and awesome at the same time. I love every moment of it.
If you are a newbie when it comes to Jarmusch, I would suggest Coffee and Cigarettes as a good primer. If you don’t like this film, then don’t even bother to watch any of his other films, because you won’t like any of them. If you do like this film, then I would suggest next Mystery Train or Stranger than Paradise. If you like older music, then you would like Mystery Train. If you prefer small, intimate stories, then try Stranger than Paradise. Of course to enjoy Jarmusch, you must be at least a little geeky, weird, or generally fucked up. Also you might want to like smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. It is a pretty amazing experience.