Jim Jarmusch (born January 22, 1953 in Akron, Ohio, USA) is a noted film director.
Following artistic success and critical acclaim in the American independent film community, he achieved mainstream notoriety with his far-East philosophy-themed Western movie set in New Jersey, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, starring Forest Whitaker, which also featured a soundtrack by the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA.
Before graduating from New York University's school of film, Jarmusch decided to drop out of the program and funnel his scholarship funds into his first feature. His advisor at the time, Thaddeus Sebena, helped to support the release. This resulted in his first film, Permanent Vacation, which introduced audiences to the deadpan style that he would later develop in Stranger Than Paradise and Down By Law.
Jarmusch's first major release, Stranger Than Paradise, was released to much critical acclaim. Recounting a strange journey of three disillusioned youths from New York to Cleveland to Florida, the film broke many conventions of traditional Hollywood moviemaking, and to this day is still considered a landmark work in modern independent film.
One of his major projects is an ongoing series of short films called Coffee and Cigarettes. The original six-minute film appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1986, featuring filmmaker Roberto Benigni and comedian Steven Wright. Three years later, he released Coffee and Cigarettes - Memphis Version, with actor Steve Buscemi, which was eight minutes long. The next 12-minute installment was in 1993, Coffee and Cigarettes - Somewhere in California, featuring musicians Tom Waits and Iggy Pop.
In 1993, Jarmusch said, "I've shot two more which are waiting to be edited, and I've scripted two or three more. Although the intention is for them to work separately as short films, I plan to shoot around 12 to 14 and put them together for a video release." . These were released in 2004 as Coffee and Cigarettes. The movie consists of 11 installments (the 1986 Coffee and Cigarettes, Memphis Version and Somewhere in California being segments 1, 2 and 3), featuring, among others, Jack and Meg of The White Stripes, Cate Blanchett, RZA, GZA, Bill Murray, Steve Coogan and Alfred Molina.
A book of interviews with Jarmusch, part of the Conversations with the Filmmakers series, is titled Jim Jarmusch: Interviews (ISBN 1578063795).