In Jersey City, an African American hit man follows “Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai.” He lives alone, in simplicity with homing pigeons for company, calling himself Ghost Dog. His master, who saved his life eight years ago, is part of the local mob. When the boss’ daughter witnesses one of Ghost Dog’s hits, he becomes expendable. The first victims are his birds, and in response, Ghost Dog goes right at his attackers but does not want to harm his master or the young woman. On occasion, he talks with his best friend, a French-speaking Haitian who sells ice cream in the park, and with a child with whom he discusses books. Can he stay true to his code? And if he does, what is his fate? –IMDb
With his trademark shock of white hair and ultra-cool rock star persona, Jim Jarmusch is the archetypal auteur of American independent film. Born on January 22, 1953, in Akron, OH, Jarmusch was the son of a former film critic for the Akron Beacon Journal. In University, he went to Paris as an exchange student and spend most of his time at the Parisian Cinemas. Upon his return to New York, Jarmusch transferred to Columbia University, where, though he eventually received a degree in English literature. With no film experience, he was accepted into New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and soon found himself a teaching assistant to legendary maverick filmmaker Nicholas Ray. Ray helped him get funding for his thesis project, Permanent Vacation (1980). Though the film was later released to critical acclaim, his professors were underwhelmed by his final project and Jarmusch never got a degree from N.Y.U.
Jarmusch’s break came with his next film; the 30-minute short eventually… read more
As he had done with "Dead Man" in "making a Western for people who don't like Westerns," I feel Jarmusch has made "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" in the a like fashion; a samurai film for people who can't get past katanas, wooden sandals and tatami mats...not that that's the reason he set out to make it, of course, but I felt Depp's William Blake and Whitaker's Ghost Dog to be all too kindred of spirits.
(cont'd) culturally bereft in the craggy ruins of the American Melting pot. It advocates the maintenance of cultural diversity as much as is possible in a slowly homogenizing society, lest we are left with fragments of bygone eras that exist as little more than fiction
Too many people are quick to directly compare this film with Le Samourai. Yes it shares a similar minimalist arc in which the main character stylishly adapts a foreign culture to a modernist environment. But they are radically different in what they aim to depict. Le Samourai is more of a character study, a depiction of anxiety and impending demise. Ghost Dog is a portrait of the (cont'd)
A lotta people look at me like I’m crazy when i tell them that i think Ghost Dog is a masterpiece (much like how i imagine Jim Jarmusch’s peers looked at him when he said he wanted to make a semi-martial… read review
An electrifying meditation on ancient ethics now obsolete in society. Jarmush conducts a soulful opera dotted with symbolism and satire and grafted to the proverbs of Bushido. Forest Whitaker is a… read review