Iggy Pop doc opening in theaters, played NYFF (so did Paterson) ++ see Iggy live in Brooklyn
Jim Jarmusch's new documentary about Iggy & The Stooges, titled Gimme Danger, opens in theaters this Friday, October 28, and you can catch it in NYC at IFC Center (tickets on sale soon). You can find a theater near you here.
The film, which I saw as part of the 2017 New York Film Festival, weaves archival live clips and interviews from various members with new interviews with the sole remaining survivors Iggy Pop and James Williamson. The Stooges road to excess and debauchery is the stuff of legend and well known to fans, which is the essential problem with this documentary. There isn’t much new here for the band’s most ardent admirers. Most of the photos and clips have been seen before and, unfortunately, there just isn’t a lot of unseen footage out there. The new interviews with Iggy, while containing a few enlightening anecdotes, seem tame. Jarmusch directs with an obvious loving, but hands-off, approach that could have used more “Jarmusch.” All in all, it’s an enjoyable but somewhat neutered story about a band that was anything but that. Watch the trailer below and check out a few pics of Iggy and Jim at NYFF, above.
Speaking of, the Iggy Pop nude drawings exhibit opens November 4 at Brooklyn Museum. You can see it early and hear Iggy talk about his experience being a nude art model at Brooklyn Museum on November 3. Part of their Brooklyn Talks series, Iggy and Jeremy Deller, who conceived the project/exhibition will talk with poet Tom Healy and tickets are on sale now.
Gimme Danger wasn't the only movie Jim Jarmusch had at NYFF this year. There was also his new drama Paterson. The film's titular character, played with understated resolve by Adam Driver, is a young man living in Paterson, New Jersey. His life is ostensibly a simple and repeated one. Told over seven days, Paterson wakes up every morning next to his pretty yet somewhat aloof wife (played by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani). He has his cereal, walks to his job as a city bus driver, goes home after work, then walks his dog, stopping by the local bar for a beer. Same routine day in and day out. Along with being a bus driver, he is also a poet fashioning haiku’s and poems in the style of famous poet William Carlos Williams who, you guessed, it happens to be from Paterson. It’s a lovely yet understated story that looks to the simple pleasures of life. There is hardly any major drama. He comes home to an artistic, possibly OCD, wife who continually begs him to publish his work while spending her time continuously painting everything in black and white patterns (a tip of the hat to Jack White?), baking cupcakes, and trying, and attempting to become a country singer. At the bar he converses with the bartender over famous past Paterson residents like Lou Costello and Uncle Floyd while dealing with an actor trying to reconcile with his ex wife.
This is Jarmusch country after all so it’s the little idiosyncrasies that mean a lot. There are nice touches throughout. Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman, who starred in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, play regulars on Paterson's bus, and Method Man makes an appearance spitting rhymes to the beat of a washing machine. The scenes in the bar give off strong Mystery Train feels which, frankly, I wish the film had more of. While it certainly is not my favorite of Jarmusch’s films and it is a stylistic departure, it is without question one of hjs better recent works (and may improve on repeat viewings). Paterson is not only a poem to the city but to life itself. Take enjoyment and gain ease from the simple pleasures and know that you are not alone and there are always others there for you. Paterson opens December 28 and you can check out the trailer below.
words by PSquared; photos by Sachyn Mital