Permanent Vacation

Permanent Vacation ★★★

With The Dead Don't Die coming out later this year, I thought it was high time for a Jarmusch jamboree.

It is with Permanent Vacation that we get to hear him for the first time, through the hoarse nasal voice of Aloysius Christopher Parker (or Allie for short). Named after famed jazz saxophonist, Charlie Parker, and (most probably) a puppet from a 60's British TV show, Thunderbirds (also sharing the same name as one of the greatest heroines of the silver screen, Chris Parker from Adventures in Babysitting). So you sort of get a feel for that pretentious yet kinda charming quality to our protagonist right away, who in all fairness isn't really the actual protagonist. New York is, with all of its rugged beauty and seedy ugliness. The hustle and bustle of Manhattan contrasted with the empty, run down streets of an Alphabet Town, and the such, with all the colourful characters inhabiting them. Wonderfully supplemented by constant background noise, ranging from the sounds of street musicians, barking dogs or crashing waves (etc.), and complemented by a great atmospheric jazzy score by Lurie and Jarmusch himself.

To be honest I found the first half of Permanent Vacation to be a rather tedious trudge, but the second half really grew on me and almost made me forget all about it. And while Jarmusch never really manages to strip from his film school influences here (it's all quite student-filmy), his style was already undenyable and I'm pretty sure on repeated viewings this film would grow on me even more, like the dirt of The Big Apple under your fingernails.

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