Nothing is Original

January 21st, 2009

This is the fifth rule of Jim Jarmusch, an independent film director, his golden rules:

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.”

Jim Jarmusch

found at swissmiss

12 Responses to “Nothing is Original”

  1. Sociala Gerillan Says:

    […] […]

  2. Ricky Says:

    Very good, thanks… I got ispired!!!

  3. Matthew Walton Says:

    “If you make something from your own perspective, that stays true to your own truths, it will never be already done by someone else. On the other hand, if you make your film look ‘like someone else’s x,y, or z’ (look like Hitchcock’s, Tarkovsky’s, Tarantino’s, or anybody else’s work), then it will always be already done by everyone, all the time, forever. Imitation is death. Do it your way–do all of your work like no one else ever did it.

    Is that too Yoda-like?

    Plunge in. It’s the only way to go.

    Ray Carney (aka Yoda)”

    Quick contribution since I am so tired as to be “out of it” right now: I think that the stance that “nothing is original” is cynical (and, therefore, disconnected from reality/truth) and, furthermore, is highly likely predicated on a miscomprehension of what originality is de facto. Some friends of mine were telling me the other day that there is no way to be original anymore, in reference to music, though what they said (and my response to it) applies to other arts as well as other areas of life. Artistic originality has not so much to do with any kind of technical innovation or anything like that. Art creates. To create is to bring into existence that which never before existed, ever. Art creates by bringing into existence new ways of thinking, feeling, knowing, and being into the world, new thoughts, new kinds of emotions – not just new emotions, but new *kinds* of emotions; it does this by breaking us free of our old, comfortable ways of thinking, feeling, knowing and being, breaking us free of our old ways of experiencing reality, via moving beyond those ways of experiencing, offering us new sensory powers, new powers of perception; thus, originality is often misunderstood, jeered at, rejected, burnt at the stake, nailed to the cross. All our lives we cry out for originality, to experience originality in art and elsewhere, but face to face with it, we reject it since it violates our habitual, comfortable ways of experiencing reality. Much more to say, but I must away. Originality is authentic individuality.

  4. Radley Marx » Blog Archive » Nothing is Original Says:

    […] today and tomorrow) This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 at 9:00 am and is filed under […]

  5. Фoto-inbox Says:

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  6. Nothing is Original – today and tomorrow « monikerasmoniker Says:

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  7. Rule #5 from Jim Jarmusch’s Golden Rules « BloodMarys Says:

    […] Here […]

  8. Jocelyn Says:

    Nice find; this is so cool to read. Jim rocks. Love it.

  9. Nothing is original | better taste than sorry. Says:

    […] Jim Jarmusch rule #5 on a poster (his golden rules). nice! It could be the manifesto for bloggers. (via) Categories: […]

  10. Everything is a Remix, Nothing is Original Says:

    […] Jim Jarmusch published his poster-sized manifesto on the art of filmmaking, he borrowed his thesis from Jean-Luc Godard. It reinforced his point that […]

  11. C. T. Says:

    Nothing is original. True. But the last line of this quote is the most interesting: “it’s not where you take things from-it’s were you take them to.” Well, sorry but the vast, vast majority of people who copy and paste and slop around other people’s copies, DO NOT TAKE THEM ANYWHERE ELSE, other than where they’ve already been. They are not only thieves. They are the kinds of thieves who don’t just break in and steal, but vandalize everything, rape everyone inside, piss on the floor and say, well, you know, nothing is original. Jim Jarmusch said I could steal.

  12. Everything is a Remix – Nothing is Original « The People Stuff Says:

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