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Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Jim Jarmusch and Japanese Ghost Stories

"There you are Dead Beat, Jarmusch calls to say, going on and on about cinematic from in literature. Well I have news for you."

"What so?"

"When I was writing Mystery Train, I was not thinking at all about cinematic genres. I was thinking about literary forms and I was very interested in Chaucer, things that have smaller stories within that make up a larger work, and I was playing with the idea of things happening simultaneously. I really wasn't thinking about any of those genres, although I was aware of Italian episodic films that are like romantic comedies; there is a tradition in Japanese cinema of ghost stories that have separate stories together, I like that form very much, and I liked playing with things happening at the same time and characters being in the same place, but not interacting and yet being somehow connected by some little threads, like the bellboy and the night manager of the hotel, the gunshot, the fact that they're in the same hotel, the fact that you see them walking down the same streets. But it really was more from a literary form than from playing with cinematic genres."

"Works both ways," I say.

"You bet."

"One and the same."

"Two sides of the same coin."

Jim and Dead Beat (loud laughter).

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