Jim Jarmusch

Jarmusch and the everyday

Suarez writes:

Night on Earth seems to suggest that there is something inexhaustible about quotidian experience. A simple taxi ride, the most random of encounters, brings us into contact with personal depths and complexities that are difficult to account for (page 80).

What do you think of this assessment of the film and how it shows us ordinary experiences and encounters? How is m-e-s used to this effect? Can you apply this analysis to Stranger than Paradise, too?


What is "independent film"?

Suarez points out that Jim Jarmusch, and specifically Stranger than Paradise, is important in the history and development of "independent film" in the U.S.

What does that phrase mean to you? How does Suarez use the term or explain its history? Who are other filmmakers you think of when you see or hear that phrase? What makes those filmmakers "independent" to you?

Third thematic essay

Topic and direction:

  • Write a critical analysis of mise-en-scène (m-e-s) in the films of Jim Jarmusch based on course screenings, readings, and discussions.
  • As a way of explaining or illustrating your argument, your analysis should include a close reading of at least one of the frame grabs from each film in the group posted to the blog for the Film Analysis assignment. You may also use an image, or images, of your choosing.
  • Note that “critical” in this context means to be detailed in your analysis, not judgmental as to quality. Think about what is visually distinctive about Jarmusch's films.
  • As you select elements or points for discussion, consider the contributions of other "authors" to the look and feel of the films. For example, the directors of photography or the production designers.

Additional guidelines and requirements:

  • As a formal academic paper, this essay should have a clear thesis, or central argument, to make. Sample prompts for this essay: “Mise-en-scène (m-e-s) in Jim Jarmusch's films is characterized by …”, or, “In Stranger Than Paradise, Night on Earth and Broken Flowers, the filmmakers use mise-en-scène (m-e-s) in order to …”
  • Essays should cite and document sources following these guidelines.
  • Films should be cited as follows. The first reference should provide a complete title and a date of release in parentheses, e.g., Stranger Than Paradise (1984) (note that the film title is italicized). Subsequent references need only include the title. For films with longer titles, such as Night on Earth, subsequent references can use a truncated title, as in Night or Earth. Film titles do not need to be included in the list of cited works.
  • Initial reference to mise-en-scène should use the full term. For subsequent references, “m-e-s” is acceptable. You can follow this guideline for all specialized terms.
  • There is no page requirement or limit for this paper, but use four to eight (5-8) as a guide.
  • Essays should be double-spaced with reasonably-sized fonts and margins (readability should be your goal). Number your pages.
  • Be specific in referencing names of filmmakers, characters, places, etc. IMDB and Wikipedia are both good sources for basic information about films and film productions.
  • For guidance on writing academic essays, refer to the resources I have on this page, including the WOU Writing Center. You can also consult with me. For longer questions or to have me review drafts, come to office hours. Shorter questions can be handled electronically via e-mail or on IM or over the phone (503-838-8296). You can also ask for advice via the class blog.

Due date and submission:

  • If you choose to write on this essay (remember, you will write on two of the three essays with an opportunity to rewrite the first), schedule a due date with me individually that should fall between M 6/10 and F 6/14.
  • Note, any and all essays submitted on the films of Jim Jarmusch will be scored as second essays, regardless of whether you turned in a first essay or not.
  • You should schedule your due date for this essay by the end of the day (11:59 pm) on W 6/5.
  • Submit your work electronically by the agreed upon date following these guidelines. For the assignment in the filename, use "Jarmusch”.
  • Up until R 6/13 you will have until 11:59 pm on your due date to submit your paper or arrange an extension for full credit. On F 6/14, you will have until 5:00 pm to submit your essay for full credit. No extensions will be granted for after that day and time and no papers will be accepted for full credit after that day and time for a regular letter grade in Spring 2013.
  • This essay is worth twenty (20) points.

Jim Jarmusch on Netflix & Hulu

There are a number of Jim Jarmusch directed films available for streaming.

On Netflix:

On Huluplus: