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USA, 1980 (MIFF 1981, New Directors)

Director: Jim Jarmusch

Permanent Vacation is my first feature. It is a narrative which follows two and a half days in the lite of Aloysius Parker, a young wanderer with no home, no school, and no job. He has lived in all kinds of situations and with many different people — almost all of them exiles from the daily, working world Now at the age of sixteen. Allie drifts into and out of strange encounters with other misfits; always moving, always keeping just ahead of whatever it is that seems to be chasing him.

The main character is partially based on the actor portraying him (Chris Parker), whose real life situation is very similar to that of Aloysius — a name Chris chose for the part. Pieces of dialogue came directly from tapes that I made with Chris while writing the script, and almost all of the many backstreet locations in Manhattan were very familiar to him. The film attempts to merge re-created experiences with imagined ones, placing the camera somewhere in the netherworld between documentary and theatrical.

The music for the film is treated Javanesegamelan and in certain sequences is mixed with solo saxophone improvizations done for the film by John Lurie Its hypnotic effect is very important in regards to the tone and the themes of the film.

The film was produced on a shoe¬string budget that will come to just under $12,000 including two release prints Money came from grants and loans. The color reversal stock (7240) was selected for its specific color values, which are more subtle and more appropriate than standard negative (and because it was available. inexpensively, through circumstances).

It is important to mention that Nicholas Ray died the day before our production began, and the film is unofficially dedicated to his memory. Before his death I had studied with Nick and was his teaching assistant. We had talked at length about acting, directing, my script, his films and film in general I was able to work on the crew of Lightning Over Water, Nick's collaboration with Wim Wenders, which was a very inspiring and moving experience - it is a film about Nick's death. I hope that Nick Ray's influence is somewhere visible in Permanent Vacation

See also...


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Coffee and Cigarettes

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Stranger Than Paradise

A simple story about exile (both from one's country as well as one's self), and about a connection just barely missed. ... More »

The Music of Erich Zann

The film is based on a short story by H. P. Lovecraft, American master of Gothic horror tales Set in late 1 9th century Paris, Zann follows the efforts of Charles Dexter Ward, a young American ... More »

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