You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jim Jarmusch on Boycotting ‘Star Wars,’ Bringing ‘Paterson’ to Cannes

Director Jim Jarmusch is receiving some of the best reviews of his career for “Paterson,” about a New Jersey bus driver (Adam Driver) who writes poems in his free time. He spoke to Variety about the film.

You wrote the treatment for this story 20 years ago.
I just gather ideas over the years. That was one of my possible projects. I kind of forgot about it for a while.

Where did the poems come from?
Ron Padgett is one of my favorite contemporary poets, and he agreed to write the poems for the film. We also used some of his pre-existing poems.

How did you cast Adam Driver?
Usually, I have actors in mind for the main characters. But I didn’t have actors in my head and began trying to find the right actors. I honestly hadn’t seen Adam in too many things. I’d seen him in “Frances Ha,” and I’d seen him in a small role in “Inside Llewyn Davis.” I’d seen a few episodes of “Girls.” There’s something about his presence that I really love.

Have you now seen “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”?
No. I’ve never seen any “Stars Wars” films. I don’t know if it’s just a stubborn punk rock thing, where I intend to go to my grave having never seen “Stars Wars.” I’ve never seen “Gone With the Wind” either.

Do you not like classic movies?
I’ve seen thousands of classic movies. I’m a film nerd. For some reason those get thrown in one’s face so often, I managed to avoid them.

Did Adam really learn how to drive a bus?
He went to bus driving school. He can’t drive the bus in all the things we shot. It was funny. Our production was arranging for Adam to get a bus license, and while we were trying to organize it, Adam on his own figured it out and was already in the school.

Is it important for you that people watch your movies in theaters?
One of my biggest points of negotiation [with Amazon Studios] was that the film get a theatrical release in a certain amount of theaters before just VOD. That’s very important to me.

Maybe just because I’m old school and I love seeing films in the theater. I just like cinemas; I grew up in them. I love the experience of seeing films with other strangers in a dark room.

Are you a fan of the Cannes red carpet?
A fan? No, because I don’t like even being photographed. I’m not big on self-promoting. I feel uncomfortable with all of that. But I try to be gracious and respect that it’s part of the tradition of Cannes.

Would you ever direct a studio movie?
I don’t think I would. They [Hollywood executives] would tell me how to do it, and that’s a problem. I understand that—it’s a big investment that they like to control. But I’m not the right person to be controlled. It’s not a snotty thing. It’s just reality. They are not going to let me make a big budget film with complete artistic control.

Jarmusch shared this exclusive poem from the movie Paterson with Variety.

The Run
I go through
trillions of molecules
that move aside
to make way for me
while on both sides
trillions more
stay where they are.
The windshield wiper blade
starts to squeak.
The rain has stopped.
I stop.
On the corner
a boy
in a yellow raincoat
holding his mother’s hand.

-By Ron Padgett

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Keeley Hawes to Star in Untitled

    Keeley Hawes to Play Patricia Neal in Film About the Star and Roald Dahl (EXCLUSIVE)

    Keeley Hawes will star opposite Hugh Bonneville in a film about the Oscar-winner Patricia Neal and her husband, author Roald Dahl. Formerly known as “An Unquiet Life,” and based on Stephen Michael Shearer’s book of the same name, the family drama starts filming this week in Surrey, southern England. John Hay directs. He co-wrote the [...]

  • Eddie Murphy Antonio Bandares Variety Actors

    Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas Share More in Common Than 'Shrek'

    Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”) and Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite Is My Name”) sat down for a chat for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” For more, click here.  Antonio Banderas takes on the role of his career as the director who discovered him in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” playing a fictionalized take on Almodóvar sorting [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Robert Pattinson Actors on

    Robert Pattinson and Jennifer Lopez on Batman, 'Hustlers' and 'The Lighthouse'

    Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”) and Robert Pattinson (“The Lighthouse”) sat down for a chat for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” For more, click here.  In “Hustlers,” Jennifer Lopez plays Ramona, the ringleader of a gang formed in a New York strip club. She’s equal parts private dancer and hardened criminal, a combination that Oscar voters might [...]

  • Napa Valley Film Festival Placeholder

    Napa Valley Film Festival Uncorks New Leadership, Rising Stars

    Nestled in the rolling vineyards and Instagram-worthy towns, the Napa Valley Film Festival kicks off its ninth edition with a new leader, and a renewed mandate to build on its success. NVFF runs Nov. 13-17 in Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. Entertainment industry veteran Tom Tardio took over as CEO in July, and reports [...]

  • Gaston Pavlovich

    'The Irishman' Producer Gaston Pavlovich Inks Deal With Endemol (EXCLUSIVE)

    “The Irishman” producer Gaston Pavlovich and his Mexico City-based production company Fabrica de Cine have inked an overall development and production deal with Endemol Shine Boomdog, the Mexican outpost of Endemol Shine North America. The deal comes as “The Irishman” opens the Los Cabos International Film Festival on Wednesday. The screening marks the Latin American [...]

  • Charlize Theron'The Addams Family' film premiere,

    Charlize Theron to Be Honored by Costume Designers Guild (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Costume Designers Guild announced Wednesday that Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron will be honored with the spotlight award. The Spotlight Award honors an actor whose talent and career personify an enduring commitment to excellence, including a special awareness of the role and importance of costume design. “Charlize Theron is a costume designer’s dream, bringing integrity [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    'Ford v Ferrari' Soundtrack Revealed (EXCLUSIVE)

    The full tracklist for the forthcoming 20th Century Fox film “Ford v Ferrari,” starring Academy Award-winners Matt Damon and Christian Bale, has been revealed below. The film is based on the true story of American car designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) and the British-born driver Ken Miles (Bale), who together battled corporate interference, the laws of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content