Ghost Dog – The Way of the Samurai

Really enjoyed this film. I’m quickly becoming a huge Jim Jarmusch fan. Every single one of his films I’ve seen has been replete with revisionist tendencies. One this is for sure, he isn’t shy to show the worst of America’s history.

Some comments….

  • Jarmusch gives new meaning to bird’s eye p.o.v. shot
  • Not sure whether his dissolves within a still frame is a shout out to Scorsese who utilizes it all the time and who traditionally thrives in the stereotypical “Mafia” film, or a manifestation of “live life like a dream”. Works both ways.
  • An instance of true wit: The mafioso types finish criticizing black rappers and Native Americans for their self-given and spiritual names only to call for “Slick joey, rags, and a whole other assortment of nicknamed mafiosos”.
  • I’m still trying to figure out the inclusion of all those cartoons. It certainly infantilizes the mafia. Whether it’s making a comment on violence within tv culture i’m not sure. However, in the getaway car, after Ghost Dog has been killed, the cartoon is of a cat and mouse (I’ve forgotten their names) squaring off with larger and larger revolvers. It certainly seems like a visual metaphor for the affects of violence.
  • The incoherence created by the separate languages seems to me a positive note within the film. People from separate backgrounds may bond without common language. However, one cannot ignore the fact that the two factions pitted against each other are from different “worlds” per se, and speak from separate traditions. They certainly don’t get along. I’m curious as to people’s opinions on this matter. Couple this with the unfinished boat upon the roof.
  • The little girl, Perlaine, seemed to me a play on the traditional love interest associated with the genres included within Ghost Dog.
  • Loved that Gary Farmer almost reprises his role in Dead Man in a contemporary setting. He has the same line “stupid fucking white man”.
  • All in all I’m loving Jarmusch and his white shock of hair. If you’re looking for a fresh take on stale genres he is your man. Only Lovers Left Alive is the only way in which vampires should be considered cool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *