Written and conceptualized before “Broken Flowers,” Jim Jarmusch’s moody, melancholic and utterly hilarious vampire movie “Only Lovers Left Alive” took a lenthy seven years to come to l. Written with Tilda Swinton in mind — who Jarmusch adores — the movie could never quite find its funding (and even had Michael Fassbender as the lead at one point), but Swinton and actor John Hurt (who was also onboard the project very early), never gave up on the movie, and stayed encouraging during the ups and downs of its development.
Having already premiered at Cannes last year (and making stops at the Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival as well), “Only Lovers Left Alive” — which might just be Jarmusch’s finest film to date — is set to be unleashed on the world finally on April 11th. And having just sat down with the venerable filmmaker recently to discuss the film The Playlist has learned that thankfully we won’t have to wait several years before films.
Jarmusch has a lot on the go, including an opera, a documentary that should see completion too and another feature-length narrative effort that’s written, ready to roll and that the director hopes to shoot this fall.
The opera has some pretty impressive names attached to it, one of them being an old No-Wave pal from Jarmusch’s old band Del-Byzanteens. But the opera also sounds like the project that’s least formed so far from all his upcoming work. Of course there’s more music to come from his band SQÜRL too. “I’m working on a quote, unquote opera with the composer Phil Kline, about [inventor inventor, physicist, and futurist] Nikola Tesla – apparently [experimental theater stage director] Robert Wilson will now collaborate with us on it. We think he wants to anyhow. So that and a lot of new music that we’re recording and creating. So I have quite a few things up my sleeve,” Jarmusch shared.
One of those irons in the fire is a documentary portrait of Iggy Pop and The Stooges. Announced years ago, there’s been little word about it since. It turns out Jarmusch has shot most of it and will soon be finishing the rest.
“Yes, it’s still in the works,” the filmmaker said. “It’s a love letter to the Stooges, a kind of essay film, a documentary portrait and we filmed most of it, but then ran out of my own money so I had to stop and then make [‘Only Lovers Left Alive’]. Now it looks like I’m getting it financed to complete it. So that’s going to happen.”
The million dollar question of course, is whether or not that's the next piece of cinema we’ll see from Jarmusch in theaters. Maybe not. “I don’t know. I have a feature film that I would like to shoot this fall or next spring,” Jarmusch said. “It’s all written and everything, but I don’t really want to talk about it too much. I’m a little superstitious, but it’s set in the present in Patterson New Jersey.”
Trying to pry, we asked what kind of film it would be, but realized, Jarmusch film’s even ones about vampires are incredibly difficult to define. “Yeah. it’s funny,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s any more of a comedy than any other film I’ve made, but it definitely has some funny stuff in it.”
That’s all that we could get, but present-day Patterson New Jersey, doesn’t that sound… perhaps something a bit more simple like “Broken Flowers”? One can only speculate. But as always, any word of a new Jarmusch film (and new documentary and opera) is always a bonus in our world. “Only Lovers Left Alive” opens on April 11th. More from this interview closer to release. -- Interview reporting by Rodrigo Perez