×

Director Jim Jarmusch on the Challenges of Financing Indie Films

Downtown crowd shows up for new Tilda Swinton drama

About eight years ago, Tilda Swinton received a call from her director pal Jim Jarmusch on New Year’s Eve, saying, “Hey man, let’s make a vampire movie.”

“I would make any movie that Jim would propose to me, frankly,” Swinton said on Wednesday night at the Cinema Society screening of “Only Lovers Left Alive” at Manhattan’s Landmark Sunshine Cinema.

The downtown crowd at the event included Christy Turlington, Peter Sarsgaard, Stellan Skarsgard and director Joel Coen. Patti Smith hugged Swinton on the red carpet–“I love this movie,” she said, noting it was her second time seeing it. At the after party at the Handy Liquor Bar, guests sipped on vampire-themed Qui Tequila cocktails.

Jarmusch told Variety about the struggle to get his vision made, citing the purse tightening of indie film financiers compared to when he started in the ’80s as a young director. “The world economy, the fact that studios have conglomerated, there aren’t that many smaller distributors anymore,” he explained.

Sony Pictures Classics picked up North American rights to the film just before it screened at Cannes in May. “We saw it at a pre-screening,” said Tom Bernard, the studio’s co-president. “We wanted to try to buy it before it played at Cannes, because we knew it would go over like gangbusters. To me, it’s the coolest film [Jarmusch] has made since ‘Ghost Dog.'”

Popular on Variety

Even though she plays the vampire heroine in the film, Swinton confessed she had never seen “Twilight,” adding, “Maybe I shall after this.”

More Film

  • Alison Brie - Variety's Actors on

    Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza Join Kristen Stewart's Romantic Comedy 'Happiest Season'

    Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Victor Garber, Dan Levy and Mary Steenburgen have been cast in “Happiest Season,” a romantic comedy starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis. The TriStar Pictures film, from director Clea DuVall, will debut in theaters on Nov. 20. “Happiest Season” follows Stewart’s character, who is planning to propose to her girlfriend (Davis) [...]

  • Taylor Swift Trailer Miss Americana Netflix

    Taylor Swift Gets Political in 'Miss Americana' Documentary Trailer

    “I feel really really good about not being muzzled anymore, and it was my own doing,” Taylor Swift reveals in the first trailer for her Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana.” The singer and songwriter gets candid in behind-the-scenes footage, saying, “Throughout my whole career label executives would just say: ‘A nice girl doesn’t force their opinions [...]

  • Quentin Tarantino, Walter Hill and Heywood

    Quentin Tarantino Celebrates Art of Screenwriting at Final Draft Awards

    Quentin Tarantino celebrated the art of screenwriting during his induction into the Final Draft Hall of Fame Tuesday night at the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood. The clearly delighted Tarantino, who scored Oscar nominations for writing, directing and producing “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” revealed filmmaker Walter Hill was his inspiration to become a screenwriter. [...]

  • The Gentleman Bad Boys for Life

    Box Office: 'The Gentlemen' Takes on 'Bad Boys for Life'

    It will be a battle of the boys at the box office this weekend as STX’s action drama “The Gentlemen” takes on reigning champs, Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life.” “Bad Boys for Life,” the third installment in the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-led franchise, beat expectations over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, bringing in [...]

  • Ben Roberts BFI

    British Film Institute Says Change 'Too Slow' As It Releases Findings of Diversity Report

    The British Film Institute (BFI) has published its initial findings on how film productions in the U.K. have applied its “Diversity Standards,” a framework introduced in 2016 to address underrepresentation in the country’s film and TV industries. The standards cover several aspects of diversity including gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, gender reassignment, age [...]

  • Brand Storytelling 2020 Sundance

    Sundance 2020: Brand Storytelling Lineup Set for 5th Annual Media and Marketing Event

    Brand Storytelling is returning to Park City this year to host its fifth annual media and marketing event at the Sundance Film Festival, with a lineup of keynotes, panels, screenings, music performances and more. Launched in 2016, the company’s “festival within a festival” at Sundance will again bring together execs from major brands with media [...]

  • Terry Jones Dead: Director of Monty

    Terry Jones, Monty Python Co-Founder, Dies at 77

    Terry Jones, co-founder of Monty Python, died Wednesday after a long struggle with dementia. He was 77. Jones was instrumental in creating the wacky, absurdist style of comedy that Monty Python made famous in the 1970s and directed two of the English comedy group’s most successful films, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “Monty [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content