American Auteur: Jim Jarmusch (copy 02)

By February 23, 2021Newsletters


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Join us this Thursday at 4PM for the first in a series of monthly discussions with Howie Arkans. We kick-off this week with Jim Jarmusch, followed by Wes Anderson on March 25th, and wrap the series with Noah Baumbach on April 22nd. All films in the series are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. (Rental fees may apply.)

American Auteur: Jim Jarmusch

Thursday, February 25 | 4PM to 5PM

Jim Jarmusch came to New York City from Akron, Ohio to study at Columbia and NYU’s film school. He would also study film at the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris. He worked as an assistant on LIGHTNING OVER WATER (1980), a film by Nicholas Ray and Wim Wenders, before making his first film, PERMANENT VACATION (1982), made for roughly $15,000. After much hustling, he found a German producer by the name of Otto Grokenberger, who stayed out of his way and provided him with complete artistic control. The result was the highly stimulating STRANGER THAN PARADISE (1984), a film he structured around Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ song, “I Put A Spell On You”, and which would go on to win the Camera D’Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.

To participate, stream NIGHT ON EARTH and BROKEN FLOWERS through the links below BEFORE Thursday. Howie will propose questions and lead a discussion of the films, answering questions and criticisms. BIFF is very pleased to be presenting this fun series to help us get through the winter and we are grateful for Howie’s time and expertise!
Register Here ( )
Your Homework

NIGHT ON EARTH: An anthology of 5 different cab drivers in 5 American and European cities and their remarkable fares on the same eventful night.
Rent NIGHT ON EARTH here (

BROKEN FLOWERS: As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.


THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL: A writer encounters the owner of an aging high-class hotel, who tells him of his early years serving as a lobby boy in the hotel’s glorious years under an exceptional concierge.

MOONRISE KINGDOM: A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.

Register here for Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach!
Wes Anderson—March 25 ( )
Noah Baumbach—April 22 (
The concept of the auteur—of the filmmaker as an artist and author of his or her works—began in Paris in the late 50s to 60s, where filmmakers and critics reacted to the industrialized of filmmaking in the United States and Europe.

The French word auteur literally translates to the English, “author.” Within the context of cinema, the word auteur is used to describe a director who exerts a high level of control across all aspects of a film. Auteur directors generally have a distinctive style from film-to-film and often fill other roles besides directing including: writing, editing, and sometimes acting in their own films.

Howard Arkans BA, MD, Stanford Howie has had a keen interest in film since his grandmother took him to see THE JAZZ SINGER remake in 1952. He has taught Tuesday at the Movies for OLLI at BCC for the past 12 winters and has been a BIFF REEL Friend for years.

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