An enthusiastic music lover, Jarmusch habitually listens to carefully selected music whenimagining a film, and writing the story; ‘Most of my inspiration comes from music’, he said, for it‘is almost like a pure form, like another language’.
Neil Young’s records with the band CrazyHorse infused the development of
, which eventually ended up being scored by theCanadian player.
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
(1999), was inspired particularly by hip-hopmusic, and the tendency for quotation and appropriationspecific to that genre is reflected in thestructure of the film, in which an abundance of cinematic, literary and musical references are usedand assembled. Juan A. Suárez called this process ‘tracking’, as it resembles the combining of different tracks to create music in a recording studio;
, writes Suárez, ‘usefilm as a synthetic medium capable of mixing a number of streams of signification into a whole.’
This same approach can be seen at work in
The Limits of Control
. As he was imagining thestory, sifting through a set of ideas and influences he had collected over time, Jarmusch waslistening to the music of bands like Boris, Sunn O))), Earth and Sleep, who play ‘a certain genre of noise-oriented rock with some allusions to metal’, as he defined it in an interview
. This musicfeatures heavily distorted and processed guitars, but at same time has a gentle side, with dreamy and psychedelic textures unfolding through a slow tempo, which matches Jarmusch’s penchant for prolonged takes and downtempo rhythm in his films; Boris’ music helped him to focus on thedetails that were relevant to the story as it was unfolding in his imagination, and in finding thethreads to weave fragments and ideas.
He intended to write a lead character for Isaach De Bankolé,something like a ‘controlled, quiet, centered, criminal’,
and had some ideas about shooting incertain locations in Spain; Joe Strummer’s widow had given him a photograph of a house in the
Jim Jarmusch meeting an audience in New York:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECDpE4DLzGI
Suarez, op. cit. p. 99
interview with Gavin Smith,
interview with Andrew O‘ Hehir:http://media.salon.com/media/mp3/2009/04/btm_jj.mp3