Jim Jarmusch Makes Me Want to Write

Jun 06, 2019


This is a trailer for the latest Jim Jarmusch movie, “The Dead Don’t Die.” Focus Features will release (or drop for those of you who think that “release” isn’t post-modern enough) on June 14th. The trailer dropped around April 1st. (Wow. That is a cool verb. I can’t get enough of it now.)

Jim Jarmusch is one of my favorite film creators. He’s written and directed all his movies, and each one has his unmistakable worldview stamped on them. If you’re not familiar with his work, start with Dead Man and Ghost Dog. If you enjoy them, try Only Lovers Let Alive and Broken Flowers. Then, you’re ready for The Limits of Control, Coffee and Cigarettes, Paterson, and the rest of his catalog.

Jarmusch’s films make me want to write. They’re character-driven, and they feel like I wish I could make my fiction feel. They’re the polar opposite of Hollywood blockbusters. His films are social commentary via character study. I suppose that this means I want to write library fiction? I’m not sure I agree now that I wrote that out loud.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy blockbuster movies or look down on them. Just like I can’t survive on popcorn and sushi alone, I don’t want every film to be Winter Soldier or Heat.

Watch the trailer if you haven’t already. Watch it again. Almost every character on the screen is, well, a character. They’re not vehicles for punchlines or moving targets for the next wave of gunfire. From a few lines of dialog or a single facial expression, we know who the players are and why they’re on the screen. It’s easy to see why talented actors like Tilda Swinton, Forest Whitaker, Adam Driver, Roberto Benigni, Steve Buscemi, and Isaach De Bankole work with him instead.

I want to create stuff like this. Of course, that also means that I need to get over my pathological fear of writing fiction.

So, unrelated to the fortuitous drop of this trailer (See what I did there? I’m almost hip enough to write for Ain’t It Cool News.) I’ve taken steps to force myself to get back to work on my Sixth Age series of books.

(No boring, old-fashioned, and coherent, verbs like release, issue, offer, or deliver were injured in the dropping of this blog post.)




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