Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Reid Rosefelt remembers Jim Jarmusch's breakthrough moment

This is a segment from a long interview I did with indie film publicity consultant & former publicist Reid Rosefelt:

" Sujewa: Back in '83/'84 did you think Jim Jarmusch & Stranger Than Paradise would become the icons that they are now; when you first saw Stranger & met Jarmusch? Any related stories about the early days of Jarmusch would be much appreciated. I see his career (the high profile/level of success) as being very odd & unpredictable - as in, typically things that get big in America, American art & entertainment - seems to have a lot of flash, noise & drama to it - specially in movies - Stranger certainly does not, at least not in any kind of a typical way. Like I can watch an early Scorcese or Spike Lee or Speilberg movie & believe that those directors would catch on in America (let's pretend that I did not know those directors were famous already), Stranger doesn't send out the same vibes. Anyway, let me stop here so you can answer :)

Reid: I actually wrote about this in my blog:
http://www.zoom-in.com/blog/2006/05/stranger_than_paradise_a_memoi.php

The main thing is that Jim was not seeking or expecting any kind of commercial success. He was just hoping that “Stranger Than Paradise” would go to festivals and that he would be able to make more films. The world that he made “Stranger” in did not hold out the same kind of delirious expectations that people have now. And even if it did, I know Jim would not have been tempted. But “Stranger” didn’t become a success because of Jim’s integrity. It was because Jim is a unique and huge talent. This was recognized by everyone before the film was even done, when it was just a 30-minute short.Of course there are still a lot of people like that—people not longing for a Hollywood dream--but now it would be very difficult for them to do the kind of things that Jim did in those days, like keep control of his negatives. And these things have had a lot to do with the freedom he enjoys to this day."

Check out the whole interview here. Rosefelt's got decades of experience in the specialty film field & has some very interesting stories to tell.

- Sujewa

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