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Updated: Sep 20, 2021

Jarmusch Flicks With Billy Disaster #1

Last nights movie was Dead Man starring Johnny Depp and Iggy Pop.

“Who the hell are you, and where the hell did you get that goddam clown suit? Cleveland?”

This movie plays like a unique and beautiful western. It’s slowly paced with an ever present sense of danger decorated with a cool soundtrack by Neil Young. His music could almost be the wind, or animal sounds in the background, or Indians hiding in the woods.

Johnny Depp plays an accountant traveling in the late 1800’s to the west by train from Cleveland for a job he’s been offered. On the train he meets the awesome Crispin Glover🤘 who warns him of the dangers of going there. When he arrives at his destination, a town named Machine (The End of the Line), he’s told by (the perfectly cast) Robert Mitchum that the job has been taken. This sucks because he traveled a long ass distance and he spent all of his money.

Defeated, Depp wonders around town, meets a hooker, goes back to her place when her old fling shows up. Things get out of hand and the hooker and the fling end up dead. Turns out the old fling is Mitchum’s son and Depp is now on the run with a price on his head. From here he encounters a slew of awesome characters. Most notably Sally Jenko played by Iggy Pop🤘(Holy shit Iggy Pop can act).

While being hunted he’s befriended by an Indian named Nobody who thinks Depp is a reincarnated English poet of the same name (William Blake).

There are so many great things about this flick. The imagery, the sound, the pace and the characters all make this an easy movie to recommend. 5 Shrooms for Dead Man🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄 . Tonight’s movie will be Down by Law. ♥️You

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Jarmusch Flicks With Billy Disaster #2

Last nights movie was Down by Law starring Tom Waits, John Lurie and Roberto Benigni. (HBOMAX)

I have to be careful when I listen to Tom Waits. One song and I’m down a TW rabbit hole for a month. So many of his songs are like movies unto themselves with many of the characters on the verge of going to prison or scenes filled with loneliness and the stranger things in life. It’s like his lyrics give credibility to the desperate and downtrodden. Whenever I listen to him I just want to pack up and jump on a random train to anywhere and join a 2nd rate circus.

This movie feels like Jarmusch wanted to make a Tom Waits song into a movie. It’s about 3 guys that get thrown in a Louisiana prison. 2 of them (Waits and Lurie) for shot they didn’t do, and the 3rd (Benigni) for accidental manslaughter. The 3 of them share a cell, get to know each other, escape from prison and make their way through the woods.

This isn’t really a prison escape flick, or a crime flick, it’s more of a movie about different personalities navigating a friendship through their unfortunate circumstances. The characters are cool but I wish there would have been a little better chemistry between them since this was a story about relationships. But perhaps JJ was just simply going for an overall sense of loneliness. Like a Tom Waits song.

3 Shrooms for Down by Law 🍄🍄🍄 . Tonight’s movie will be Coffee and Cigarettes (streaming on YouTube). ♥️You

Jarmusch Flicks With Billy Disaster #3

Last nights movie was Coffee and Cigarettes starring GZA and RZA. (YouTube)

This is a collection of 11 short flicks all of which feature 2-3 people sitting at a table drinking coffee (or tea) and smoking cigarettes. Each one is cast with actors/musicians or artists in general playing themselves. And in every one of these short flicks the conversation at the table ranges from super awkward to mildly interesting. It’s ultimately kind of a boring movie but I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. None of the scenes are too long and the cast is just so impressive. Who wouldn’t want to have coffee and cigarettes with Tom Waits and Iggy Pop?! Or GZA and RZA (being waited on by Bill Murray).

A couple of highlights…The segment called “Those Things Will Kill Ya” with Joseph Logano and Vinny Vella. It’s awesome just listening to their old school New York gangster accents no matter what they talk about. Another is a segment called “Cousins?” with Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan where the conversation is awkward in one way and then does a total 180.

All in all, this is a movie that’s just kind of cool to just have on in the background. It has a really cool vibe and sonic value. The imagery is killer and engaging, and the eye candy of Renée French and Cate Blanchett doesn’t hurt. 3 Shrooms for Coffee and Cigarettes🍄🍄🍄 . Tonight’s movie will be Night on Earth. ♥️You.

Jarmusch Flicks With Billy Disaster #4

Last nights movie was Night on Earth starring Winona Ryder and Issacha De Bankolé among others.

I wish I had liked this more. It’s a cool premise with some cool moments, but it was kind of directionless and sometimes a bit jarring (I’m looking at you Roberto Benigni). I can see why JJ likes this guy and he is a terrific performer, however his role in this flick was annoying and really unlikeable. I wanted to turn the volume down during his scene.

Like Coffee and Cigarettes, Night on Earth is a series of short stories (5) all of which feature a cab driver with their passengers. Each story takes place in a different city during the same night.

The LA version was with Winona Ryder as the fire cracker cab driver and her passenger Gina Rowlands as Hollywood exec. This was my favorite simply by having Ryder in it.

I won’t go through all of them (New York, Rome, Helsinki) but I’ll point out the performance by Isaach De Bankolé. His character was so multifaceted and well done that I had to mention it. The other standout was Matti Pellonpää who will break your heart.

I’m ready to step it up here with the Jarmusch Flicks. 2 Shrooms for Night on Earth🍄🍄 . Tonight’s movie will be Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. ♥️You

Jarmusch Flicks With Billy Disaster #5

Last nights movie was Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai starring Forest Whitaker and John Tormey.

There are so many odd elements to this movie. Like the fact that Forest Whitaker lives on the roof of a building in New York with his carrier pigeons. The fact that he follows the code of the Samurai. The fact that his best friend and him don’t speak the same language. But it all works really well within this movie. It almost makes sense in a super hero flick kind of way.

Whitaker plays a hitman for the mob like a ninja. He’s stealthy, fast and lethal. But (thankfully) he’s not your typical macho action star character. He’s someone who seems lonely and sad but he’s decisive in the way he lives. As are all of the characters. The Mob guys are classic Scorsese‘s style gangsters and this flick uses quite a few Scorsese colors. But the tempo and feel are entirely different. Where this flick succeeds is in its emotional value. It’s amazing how much I cared about each character as they were developed in such perfect ways without really going into too much back stories. Each scene has a terrific and meaningful purpose yet was subtle. Nothing was overplayed.

On a side note, I found it amusing that Whitaker gave a little girl a book of short stories that she kind of did a book report on for him upon returning it, telling him which short story was her favorite. What amused me was that I had just reviewed Night on Earth and Coffee and Cigarettes this week…I felt just like that little girl…

ANYWAY…As dramatic and emotional as this flick was, there were some entertaining drops in this, particularly the mob boss Vargo’s love for Public Enemy and the other gangster’s love of cartoons. Well places comic relief. 5 Shrooms for Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai 🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄. Tonight’s movie will be Stranger Than Paradise. ♥️You

Jarmusch Flicks With Billy Disaster #6

Last nights movie was Stranger Than Paradise starring John Lurie, Eszter Balint and Richard Edson.

If I would have seen this movie back in the late 1900s when I was a college-age Disaster, this would’ve been my favorite movie. I would’ve worshiped John Lurie and his laid-back hustler style. And I would’ve been deeply in love with Eszter Balint. Her character in this is beautiful and decisive which is basically how I would describe this movie.

Act I is in New York where Lurie and his dopey sidekick (former Sonic Youth drummer Richard Edson) live poor and boring lives hustling and gambling when Lurie’s 16 year old cousin (Balint) shows up from Hungary and needs a place to crash for a little while on her way to Cleveland to visit their aunt. They hang out for about 10 days before Balint heads to Cleveland. When she’s gone, Lurie and Edson realize they kind of miss her, score a car, and head to Cleveland themselves.

In a flick full of subtle details, one of the most important one was when they stop to ask a guy for directions, they feel sorry for him because he says he’s a factory worker. The next scene they arrive in Cleveland where it seems almost everyone is a factory worker. It’s a powerful moment in context.

Act II is in cold and snowy Cleveland. They find Balint at their Hungarian Aunt Lotte’s house. They are all glad to see each other and after a while make the decision to get the fuck out of cold and snowy Cleveland and head for sunny Florida. (I Aunt Lotte)

Act III is in Florida. The boys lose all of their money gambling and things don’t go as planned. Some non spoiler shit happens and the end is heartbreaking with a twist.

This movie was Indie-Flick heaven. It’s sense of minimalist freedom is a romantic place to be. It’s like a long daydream. 4 Shrooms for Stranger Than Paradise 🍄🍄🍄🍄. Tonight’s movie will be Paterson. ♥️You

Jarmusch Flicks With Billy Disaster #7

Last nights movie was Paterson starring Adam Driver and Golshifteh Farahani.

This movie was about an English Bulldog named Marvin. Marvin kind of looks and acts like a late era Walter Matthau. He doesn’t really like anyone and will quickly sabotage what is important to you the 1st chance he gets.

Marvin particularly hates his human dad Paterson (Driver). Does he want to go to sit and wait outside of the bar every night while Paterson is in there drinking? HELL NO! (Brings me back to my childhood where I spent half of it waiting outside of bars).

Marvin does kind of like his SMOKIN HOT Mom, Laura (Farahani), but who wouldn’t? She’s a good natured and creative spirit who is wants the best for everyone. However, Marvin hates her marriage to Paterson and let’s it be known.

But enough about Marvin, let’s talk about his sidekick Adam Driver. Driver plays his role as Paterson like a virtuoso. The character is a friendly, somewhat introverted ex-Marine/bus driver/poet who sticks to a daily routine of going to work, writing poetry about his perspectives in his world, going home to dinner with Laura and then taking Marvin to the bar for 1 beer. Driver’s facial expressions have more dialogue than his speech. They are emotionally complex and you can almost always tell what he might be thinking. It’s pretty incredible to watch. The love and beauty he finds in his simple existence is profound and inspiring. He’s such a terrific actor.

The only thing I didn’t like was the threatening possibility that Marvin might get dog-napped at some point. It stressed me out in an otherwise consonant flick.

4 Shrooms for Paterson 🍄🍄🍄🍄. Tonight’s movie will be Mystery Train. ♥️You

Jarmusch Flicks With Billy Disaster #8

Last nights movie was Mystery Train starring Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Joe Strummer.

This flick is 3 different stories that take place in roughly the same area at roughly the same time.

The central location is in a seedy part of downtown Memphis called The Arcade Hotel. The hotel’s desk clerk is the awesome Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and his bell boy Cinqué Lee. It’s basically a hub for prostitution and costs $22 a night. (Sounds like a Tom Waits song). (Shocker).

The 1st story called “Far from Yokohama” is about a young Rock-A-Billy couple from Japan that has traveled to Memphis to see Graceland and Sun Records etc.

The better half of this couple is Mitsuko, a girl with a spirited disposition and a love for Elvis. Her boyfriend Jun is a self important, too cool for school dickhead who sucks in bed. (Not literally). They go around town to see what they want to see and then check into The Acade.

Story #2 is “A Ghost” is about an Italian widow named Luisa who is stranded in Memphis and ends up sharing a room at The Arcade with a chatterbox named Dee Dee. Dee Dee is having a bad day and has just left her boyfriend (Joe Strummer).

Story #3 “Lost in Space” is about Strummer and his homies Steve Buscemi and Rick Aviles getting fucked up and in a lot of trouble. They end up having to hide out in The Arcade after an incident in a liquor store.

This movie had a bigger budget than JJ’s previous flicks and there was more going on, however I found it a bit less artistic than Stranger Than Pardise and I kind of wished it had also been filmed in black and white. Except for the scenes with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and his killer red suit from Lansky’s. Screamin’ Jay and his bell boy were by far the most entertaining part of this movie. 3 Shrooms for Mystery Train 🍄🍄🍄. Tonight’s movie will be Permanent Vacation. ♥️You

Jarmusch Flicks With Billy Disaster #9

Last nights movie was Permanent Vacation starring Chris Parker and John Lurie.

This movie was boring. It was kind of engaging and it’s definitely worth watching JJ’s 1st flick after leaving film school. It is pretty cool that someone can make (basically) a student film and conjure up as much emotion as it does with a budget of $12,000 and 16mm film. However, it’s pretty depressing and the characters and locations are elements I’d like to forget. Perhaps it’s because I’ve watched 9 Jarmusch flicks in a row, but I’m ready to move beyond paying such close attention to the human condition and character study. Forgive me but it’s kinda wearing me down:). 2 Shrooms for Permanent Vacation 🍄🍄. Tonight‘s movie will be Only Lovers Left Alive. ♥️You

Jarmusch Flicks With Billy Disaster #10

Last nights movie was Only Lovers Left Alive starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Huddleston.

I need to thank my homie Jen Baggs for crawling on the floor pleading with me to watch this flick. It was a bit embarrassing on her part but effective. This was my favorite of the Jarmusch movies we’ve done in this series.

I love Vampires. And I love most Vampire flicks and this one might even be my favorite Vampire flick.

Every single scene is captivating and beautifully done. The mood and the music of this film is right up my alley.

The opening credit sequence with a killer rendition of Wanda Jackson’s “Funnel of Love” sets the table perfectly followed by a phenomenal 1st scene Introducing us to Adam and his newly acquired 50’s and 60’s era guitars.

Adam is a Vampire who has been married to Eve (Vampire) since 1868. This story takes place in 2014 and Adam and Eve have been reunited after spending some time apart. Adam is a recluse rock star and Eve (Swinton) has been living in Tangier for awhile. Adam is planning his suicide when Eve calls him. She senses something is wrong and comes to Detroit to see him. They don’t go around biting people for blood, they get it from dealers like drug deals. Which is fitting as blood doesn’t only satisfy their thirst, it gets them FUCKED up. They’re like junkies.

Tilda Swinton is so good in this movie. She plays a classy, decisive and charming woman that conveys the wisdom of someone who has been around for centuries like a master.

There are quite a few terrific side characters that represent a critical element that drives this beautiful and unique Vampire tale. And everyone in this has really amazing hair. 5 Shrooms for Only Lovers Left Alive 🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄.

Well that’s it for Jarmusch flicks. I’ve really learned a lot and have a much more open mind about movies after doing this series. I hope you’ll join me for the next series, Rockumentaries With Billy Disaster. Any suggestions? ♥️You


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