Permanent Vacation (12A)

Part of: The Grime and the Glamour season

Still from Permanent Vacation (1980)  Jim Jarmusch

Jim Jarmusch’s first feature is a remarkable time capsule of the landscapes of the Lower East Side circa 1980, and its fashion, culture and attitude. 

We follow lanky teenage jazz fiend Allie (Chris Parker) as he hangs out in his scuzzy tenement flat with girlfriend Leila (Leila Gastil), and drifts through a crumbling Lower East Side landscape that’s half war zone, half deserted playground. Along the way, he reads some French poetry, catches a Nicolas Ray film, steals a car… and bumps into a variety of morbid eccentrics and glamorous psychotics. John Lurie also stars and provides the soundtrack. 

Famously, when Jarmusch was filming in a flat on East Third Street, the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat took to using the set as a crash-pad. 'Every time we did a reverse angle, I’d have to drag Jean-Michel in his sleeping bag under the camera so he’d be out of the shot,' reported the director. 'He’d grunt and go back to sleep.' 
 

US 1980 Dir Jim Jarmusch 80 min Digital presentation 

In partnership with NYC Films

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