Jim Jarmusch: Ludlow Drifter

1. DRIFTDead Man (1995)Drift, like the sort of drift that whisks Johnny Depp along a Native American river to the afterlife, is the chief abstract quality that lends the films of Jim Jarmusch their poetic power.One wafts through a Jarmusch film never quite sure what end-goal he has in mind—if he has one at all. It’s a calculated and it’s a composed drift, one that’s easy and pleasurable to get caught up in—especially when one sees his films back to back, one after the other, misremembering whether this scene came from that film. Consuming these films in such a fashion, as I did recently at the Metrograph in New York City, reveals that Jarmusch’s master stroke is his disregard for the logic of plot mechanics (a key move for drifter filmmakers) in favor of serene gusts or currents that wind their way around hard,
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