The filmmaker expressed his regret that anyone who asks for a deal that he negotiated earlier in his career would be “laughed out of the fucking building” today.
Jim Jarmusch has been an independent film band since 1984’s Stranger Than Paradise. Since then, he’s released everything from hip-hop martial arts films to vampire novels while maintaining his fiercely independent spirit and signature voice. But even he worries that artists face an increasingly uninhabitable landscape.
In an interview The guardian to promote his new album, “Silver Haze,” Jarmusch expressed serious concern about the lack of sustainable business models for independent filmmakers.
“The film industry kind of disappeared,” Jarmusch said. “It sucks. It became worse. The kind of split-rights deal—equal 50-50 split profit, after expenses, with financiers—that I’ve been able to do with my movies… if you even suggested that now, you’d be laughed out of the fucking building. .”
Jarmusch has admitted that his famously uncompromising creative process is increasingly incompatible with the current economic climate in which filmmakers must work.
“I’m a control freak because I have to do it my way,” Jarmusch said. “I have to choose all my colleagues. I have a final cut to make. I have to manufacture through my own company. And as for the people who finance the films, I let them give me notes on a rough cut, but I’m always contractually under no obligation to use them.”
Despite all the external obstacles he sees in the industry, the author is still developing another feature – which may not involve any music. While he declined to share specifics, he did reveal that he is working on finalizing the cast of the currently untitled project.
“I can’t talk about details, but we are planning a film,” he said. “I wrote it thinking about the specific characters with whom I am now debating. Actors are like wild animals that I have to somehow corral because there is so much going on with them. So I’m going to try to fence some incredible beasts – hopefully I’ll be able to capture them.”
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