The Top Directors Working Today: Jim Jarmusch

The more I thought about it, the more I felt certain that nobody would say Jim Jarmusch is a filmmaker you can count on for Greatness. He's made some interesting films, and I know a couple of them have a passionate cult following. But, just because you loved DEAD MAN or GHOST DOG or NIGHT ON EARTH doesn't automatically make you a disciple of his work.

Or does it? Would you call him Great or do you just like that he's out there making quality work? I liked him more when I was first discovering art-house cinema. I never thought any of it was Great, but his minimalism was refreshing. Now, I watch with more hesitation. His films are sometimes interesting, but in desperate need of a tighter edit.

According to the poll on Filmspotting, he's liked more than I figured.

28.5% expect Greatness
28.5% hope for Greatness, but are usually satisfied.
9.5% think he's worth mentioning, but not as one of the Greats.
9.5% his name on a film doesn't do anything for them.
24% haven't seen enough of his work.

I'm always interested when he has a new movie coming out. I don't always get around to it right away but I take note and try to get to it.

I might have had my intro to indie cinema through him, Down By Law, back in the day. I think he is cinematic genius (though of a different variety than Tarantino's cinematic genius, which I don't think I value quite as much), along with Catherine Breillat and Tsai Ming-liang, probably the only three filmmakers I expect greatness from each time out.


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