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Jim Jarmusch’s Golden Rules

From Jim Jarmusch’s Golden Rules:

Rule #5: Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • David Koepsell February 9, 2011, 1:00 am

    I met Jarmuch one night on the streets of Rome in 1999, he was walking alone, and as a film junkie, I recognized him. We chatted a bit, and talked about his films a little. They are quirky, fun, and each is an homage of sorts to various filmic traditions or genres. He is one of the few directors to be so honest about the debt his creativity owes to others. I like him even more now.

  • Patrick McCook February 9, 2011, 3:12 am

    Hey! You STOLE that from me from my ‘open forums’ post on your Mises Academy course!! (Kidding) — I’ve always thought that was a great quote from Jarmusch and wasn’t sure if you’d seen it.

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