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Jim Jarmusch's Next Film Is About A Bus Driver & Poet In Paterson, New Jersey

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist April 4, 2014 at 1:00PM

Iconoclastic director Jim Jarmusch (“Ghost Dog,” “Dead Man”) generally makes films at a fairly languid pace of every four or five years. Part of that is being preoccupied with one subject for several years, and part of it is a function of (especially these days) the types of un-commercial, idiosyncratic movies he likes to make are harder and harder to fund. His latest, the upcoming vampire romance picture, “Only Lovers Left Alive” starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, was in development for over seven years, funding fell through several times and even his lead actors had to encourage him to hang in there and see the project through its various ups and downs. But things seem to be changing for Jarmusch and he’s better equipped at multi-tasking.
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Jim Jarmusch

Iconoclastic director Jim Jarmusch (“Ghost Dog,” “Dead Man”) generally makes films at a fairly languid pace of every four or five years. Part of that is being preoccupied with one subject for several years, and part of it is a function of (especially these days) the types of un-commercial, idiosyncratic movies he likes to make are harder and harder to fund. His latest, the upcoming vampire romance picture, “Only Lovers Left Alive” starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, was in development for over seven years, funding fell through several times and even his lead actors had to encourage him to hang in there and see the project through its various ups and downs. But things seem to be changing for Jarmusch and he’s better equipped at multi-tasking.

In our recent interview (more of which will be rolled out next week), Jarmusch revealed he has at least four projects in the works: his still-continuing drone-rock band SQÜRL; an opera about famed inventor Nikola Tesla which may involve celebrated theater director Robert Wilson; a documentary about the seminal punk bang Iggy Pop and The Stooges (which looks like it’ll finally be completed soon); and yet another feature-length narrative film.

Jarmusch played coy when we asked what it was about, but said he would likely be shooting it this fall. “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 Paterson New Jersey,” 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.”

But what’s it actually about? Well, in an interview with the New York Times, the filmmaker gave them another small taste: it’s about a bus driver and poet in Paterson, N.J., that he evidently wrote in the years he waited for the “Only Lovers Left Alive” budget to come together. Perhaps a serio-comic existential pas de deux as only Jarmusch could create? It’ll be interesting to see how heavy the movie is on plot, but our gut tells us it’s probably more philosophical in its method. We’ll assume we’ll find out more details in the upcoming months. No word on who would play either role, but we’ll also presume the director has actors in mind. We’ll remind him that Bill Murray said he should have quit acting after “Broken Flowers” because he thought he would simply never do anything better. That would be a nice re-team, wouldn’t it?

As for his Stooges doc, the Times calls it a “quasi-documentary” and Jarmusch himself calls it “a little poetic essay” so we probably shouldn’t expect your traditional rock doc. “Only Lovers Left Alive” opens on April 11th and we’ll have more from our lengthy interview next week (here’s our ‘Lovers’ review and a retrospective on Jarmusch in the interim).

This article is related to: Jim Jarmusch, Only Lovers Left Alive


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