Criterion Channel, Criterion Collection, Forest Whitaker, Ghost Dog, Jim Jarmusch With Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai newly released by Criterion Collection today, Filmmaker is publishing online for the first time Peter Bowen’s interview with Jarmusch and actor Forest Whitaker from our Winter, 2000 print issue. As Ghost Dog, Whitaker authoritatively voice-over-reads from Jarmusch’s literary crush for the film, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai—a volume compiled from eighteenth-century commentaries on Bushido (the warrior’s code) by a samurai-nostalgic clerk turned monk, Yamamoto Tsunetomo, as told to a fellow clerk, Tashiro Tsuramoto, and translated in 1979 by William Scott Wilson, a well-respected interpreter of Japanese literature. Ghost Dog’s urban exterior locations, mostly shot in Jersey City, New Jersey, are also redolent of Jarmusch’s clear eighties romance with the boondocks parts of Brooklyn and Queens that few Manhattanites were privy to in 1999—desolate and depopulating areas that were fast on their way to becoming postindustrial, pregentrification ghost towns. Connect with High Def Movie Source on LinkedIn. This flashpoint in time that was Ghost Dog has retained all of the cool, the quirk, the profundity it captured in a bottle in 1999 and has perhaps even grown in my estimation in the decades since. There is first and foremost among the director’s most treasured love objects the shape-shifting face of Forest Whitaker. In one of the few nods to a Hollywood cliché, let alone a Hollywood racial cliché, you’ll find in any Jarmusch film, Ghost Dog’s denouement shows a noble Black man sacrificing himself for a white man. There are also the swaggerful gait and deceptive bulk of Whitaker on deck to draw out Jarmusch’s and the audience’s warmest and tenderest feelings toward the trickster-actor (who has made a career out of seducing us with his open woundedness and surprising us with his hidden volatility), but let’s begin with that face. 1 Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) Jim Jarmusch is the absolute definition of cool and five of his films are already featured in The Criterion Collection but Ghost Dog is a special film. Sir Laurence Olivier, when asked what was the most important quality for an actor to have, replied, “Physical strength.”. 1. The Criterion Collection is important. With these two movies, Jarmusch affirmed his fascination with the alienated and self-distancing American male way of death. I remember seeing Ghost Dog on opening weekend at a Times Square theater where some of the audience seemed old enough to have been regulars in the area during its B-movie heyday, when RZA saw every martial-arts extravaganza produced by Hong Kong’s Shaw Brothers that he could on the Deuce. The presentations, covers, and features are always beautifully done. Subscribe to High Def Movie Source's YouTube Channel. Most blaxploitation thrillers brought the Black seventies filmgoing community the screen ecstasy of “brothers sticking it to the Man.” With his genre-jump-starting masterpiece Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971), Melvin Van Peebles seemed to take his cues from the Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army, identifying the anti-Black activist police as the villains the revolution needs to neutralize. Price Match Guarantee. As every samurai needs a leader to whom he swears loyalty, Ghost Dog has devoted himself the service of Louie (John Tormey), a low-level crime boss who once saved his life. Whitaker’s man-strong eyes are a Technicolor dream machine for any director whose protagonist is a mercurial, silent hulk of an antihero. The release will be sourced from a 4K restoration of the film. Whitaker’s Ghost Dog, seen in electrifying motion on his rooftop practicing his whirling katana moves and punching exercises, embodies the elegant metaphysical scriptures and strictures found in the book. 48 minutes | 25 days ago Dustin Chang is a freelance writer. You'll also find in-depth discussions on world cinema. This year, Criterion released Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman (get a double dose of Pacino! The ending also nods to Le samouraï, in which Alain Delon’s hit man, like Ghost Dog, carries an unloaded gun into a circumstance he knows will prove fatal. Whitaker is the type of artful dodger who can hit all of those notes in rapid-eye-movement succession without blinking twice. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. All fourteen of the movies in it have already been issued individually in the Collection. Become a Criterion Channel Subscriber! Along with a dizzying series of stylized shoot-outs, Ghost Dog also features carrier pigeons, characters who read Rashomon, a French-speaking ice cream man, and a score by RZA from the top-selling hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, who have their own well-documented obsession with Asian culture. Below you’ll find the programming schedule for the month, along with a … But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. Sir Michael Caine has told us that good screen acting is all about the eyes. Cult director Jim Jarmusch has dabbled in numerous genres … Movie Blurb. Bio: world's number 1 vhs collector Many first saw this in Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money (1986); in retrospect, Whitaker’s mesmerizing four-minute Cheshire-cat hustle of Paul Newman’s Fast Eddie dims the memory of what happens afterward in that film. Since 1999, Tate has also co-led the conducted-improvisation ensemble Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, which tours internationally and has released umpteen albums on its own Avant Groidd imprint. Available on the Criterion Channel or Amazon Prime. Ghost Dog has the usual laconic Jarmusch feel, despite scenes of incredibly precise action. His books include Flyboy in the Buttermilk, Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader, Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience, and Everything but the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture. Tower Records is back online, and they have a limited edition vinyl of the Ghost Dog soundtrack available for preorder. Jarmusch's 1999 classic Ghost Dog , now in a Criterion edition, freely mixes and matches Bushido philosophy, Mafia and samurai flicks, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, and lo … Only this time the act occurs in front of two people—Raymond and Pearline—who not only don’t know how to react but also are depicted as verklempt and uncertain of how to feel about his vicious and ponderous killing while it’s happening right before their eyes. Criterion is asking for fan-submitted questions to be answered by Jim Jarmusch on an upcoming release of Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai. Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai is almost certainly going to be announced in July, since that's when the deadline for the Jim Jarmusch Q&A is. The dark, trance-inducing funk of RZA’s signature sound lines up evocatively with the scenes where an introspective but homicidally guided Ghost Dog is portrayed driving in a nocturnal, outer-borough-esque world of ominous, somnambulistic stillness and overarching dread. ... Coming Soon on Criterion: THE IRISHMAN Cometh, GHOST DOG… Ghost Dog is Jarmusch’s eighth feature, following the Neil Young documentary Year of the Horse (1997) and Dead Man, his vision quest into the wilds of the nineteenth-century Pacific Northwest. Each of these, in modern revivals, requires a certain reverence for the internal, hypermasculine drives that cinematically energize the form while displaying a level of invention and play that can embrace slapstick and minimalist cool. This month, the Criterion Channel celebrates this wild, weird, and far-out era of genre filmmaking with their ‘70s Horror series. In one of the most controversial films of his career, David Cronenberg adapts a scandalous J. G. Ballard novel, radically overhauling its story to address a society paralyzed in the headlights of a new millennium. Jarmusch uses Ghost Dog to up his game and rifle through three genres of which he’s enamored at once: samurai, Italian American gangster, and blaxploitation. But Ghost Dog in particular is also a film that, despite its rigid codes of honor, courses with life, thanks largely to Jarmusch and Whitaker’s collaboration, a controlled and riveting merger of star power, craft, and vision that extends our appreciation of the performative prowess and range of both of these Zen masters of contemporary American cinema. Jarmusch also borrows noticeably from Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le samouraï and Seijun Suzuki’s Branded to Kill (both 1967). Ghost Dog’s urban exterior locations, mostly shot in Jersey City, New Jersey, are also redolent of Jarmusch’s clear eighties romance with the boondocks parts of Brooklyn and Queens that few Manhattanites were privy to in 1999—desolate and depopulating areas that were fast on their way to becoming postindustrial, pregentrification ghost towns. ... As much as I love Criterion Channel for its selection, it sure buffers a lot for me. A podcast network and website . Certain Women is now streaming on The Criterion Channel. Streaming: Criterion Channel. With my copies of Parasite and Ghost Dog coming in, I found something really fortunate, but I’m not sure if it fits in here. Greg Tate is a Village Voice staff alum, musician, and cultural provocateur who lives high atop Harlem’s Sugar Hill. The Criterion Collection announced its new releases for December 2020, including Alejandro Iñárritu's Amores perros, and David Cronenberg's Crash. Ghost Dog is the director's most explicit examination of this vision, its central character born into one culture, expressing a strong elective affinity toward another, and indentured to yet a third. Greg Tate is a Village Voice staff alum, musician, and cultural provocateur who lives high atop Harlem’s Sugar Hill. In many of the blaxploitation films that followed, “the Man” meant the Mafia, as it does in Ghost Dog. A movie lover’s dream, the Criterion Channel offers classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection. Recent Posts: Ghost Dog. Like High Def Movie Source on Blogger. from $22.99, 3 used from $28.58, Last updated on December 28, 2020 2:38 pm, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray], Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai (Blu-ray)(2020), Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [1999], Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Jim Jarmusch Director. This understanding extends to all things.” This recitation serves as a premonition for the resolve Ghost Dog will soon display in rushing headlong and gun-strong into wetting up his opponents. for fans of quality theatrical and home video releases. Unofficial confirmation (Criterion exec, filmmaker, studio) ----a. Jim Jarmusch combined his love for the ice-cool crime dramas of Jean-Pierre Melville and Seijun Suzuki with the philosophical dimensions of samurai mythology for an eccentrically postmodern take on the hit-man thriller. tarussell uses Letterboxd to share film reviews and lists. “Jarmusch uses Ghost Dog to up his game and rifle through three genres of which he’s enamored at once: samurai, Italian American gangster, and blaxploitation.”. Overview - Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai is a fantastic early film from director Jim Jarmusch that focuses on a peaceful samurai warrior in New Jersey who moonlights as a hitman for the Italian mafia complete with original music from RZA. These are included in the order of the likelihood of a release/upgrade. That is the beauty of the Criterion Channel. The Criterion Collection Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. 12 new Criterion adds another excellent title to its collection of Jim Jarmusch films this week with the Blu-ray and DVD releases of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, a 1999 feature that stands alongside Dead Man as one of Jarmusch’s richest and most fascinating movies. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Image via Criterion Collection Jim Jarmusch combines his love for the ice-cool crime dramas of Jean-Pierre … The mobsters’ homes, nestled in Queens-like neighborhoods, represent the last stand of New York’s federal-prosecutorial-wiretap-decimated mob culture. In the latter film, as in Ghost Dog, the spirit of the protagonist, the accountant turned cop killer William Blake (Johnny Depp), exits his flesh well before the credits roll. Quiet, patient, and deadly. J im Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is informed by an eccentric mélange of cultural touchstones and film genres, blending together allusions to everything from samurai and mafia codes to ‘90s hip-hop culture and mid-century TV cartoons. Criterion brings this film to a new 1080p HD transfer and a DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix, along with several great bonus features, both new and old. Ghost Dog is seen to have made two neighborhood friends in the story—Isaach De Bankolé’s monolingual (French-only) ice-cream-truck owner, Raymond, and Pearline (Camille Winbush), a curious and wise-beyond-her-childhood-years moppet who shares Ghost Dog’s love for books, including Frankenstein, which they both like better than the movie, and Rashomon and Other Stories, which Ghost Dog lends to her, requesting to hear her opinion when she’s done. Find low everyday prices and buy online for delivery or in-store pick-up. 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