Skip to main content

PERMANENT VACATION

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...

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 »

Coffee and Cigarettes

The American Steven and the Italian Roberto meet for the first time in an offbeat cafe for a conversation overr coffee and cigarettes. ... More »

COFFEE AND CIGARETTES

Coffee and Cigarettes USA'When you're cool, you're cool and Coffee and Cigarettes is certified.' -VarietyUS indie film icon Jim Jarmusch has assembled a remarkable group of actors and musicians ... More »

YEAR OF THE HORSE

"Neil asked me to make a video for the song Big Time from the Neil Young and Crazy Horse record Broken Arrow... Neil and the band liked the results and Neil particularly liked the rough look of the ... More »

NIGHT ON EARTH

... ... The films of Jim Jarmusch invariably locate themselves in what one might call the 'poetry of the everyday'. His characters are constantly on the move, geographically and domestically ... More »

New York Story

A surrealistic tale of a hotel in New York serves as a prologue to a more naturalistic story of a couple in Manhattan . where a wife sends her husband out to find her a young lover! ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director