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BGSU director series looks closely at Akron independent filmmaker

Editor’s note: This story originally ran in the Aug. 18 freshman edition. It is being reprinted for students who did not move in early.

Each semester here at BGSU, the Theater and Film Department’s “Film Director Series” attempts to broaden the minds of its students by showing the films of some of the lesser known, but highly respected directors from all over the world that are working today.

This semester, the series comes home with the independent filmmaker and Akron native Jim Jarmusch, the director of such films as “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai” and “Broken Flowers.”

Jarmusch did not intend to become a filmmaker until he arrived in New York City to study at Columbia. After a few years of college he went to study in Paris and was introduced to the world of foreign cinema, where he was influenced by the likes of Robert Bresson (“A Man Escaped”) and John Cassavetes (“Faces”).

After returning from Paris and applying to the Tisch School of Arts at New York University, he was stunned by the fact he was admitted in spite having no previous involvement in filmmaking. His time there ended quickly when he dropped out and used the tuition money to make his first film “Stranger Than Paradise” in 1984, which would go on to become a surprise hit at that year’s Cannes Film Festival.

From there, Jarmusch would become one of the film industries most prominent independent filmmaker refusing to work with any film studio, but still being able to work with some of the biggest stars out there today, including Johnny Depp, Bill Murray and Forest Whitaker.

Jarmusch is a director that is more interested in what happens between the cuts, the mundane details that we usually don’t see in movies, and he makes them of special significance in the lives of his characters. In an interview with “America Independent Cinema” he talks about this saying, “If you think about taking a taxi, it’s something insignificant in your daily life; in a film when someone takes a taxi, you see them get in, then there’s a cut, then you see them get out. So in a way the content of this film is made up of things that would usually be taken out.”

While the “Film Directors Series” will only be showing a few of Jarmusch’s more prominent films, it is still a great opportunity to see the works of a Hollywood director who refuses to conform to the capitalistic ideal that has plagued the movie industry as of late.

Jarmusch stands as to what an ideal director should be, someone who focuses more importance into the characters and the story than the visual aspect because you won’t see any special effects in a Jarmusch film.

Singer/actor/friend/fan Tom Waits once in an interview said “He (Jarmusch) is a great observer of human nature and loves the detail.”

This sums up his movies as well, as they are about human nature and all of the details that make up our lives.

The “Film Director Series” takes place every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m., in the Gish Theater on the first floor of Hannah Hall, beginning on September 12th with “Stranger Than Paradise” and finishing up with “Broken Flowers” on October 3.

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