Permanent Vacation - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Permanent Vacation Reviews

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November 17, 2011
Jim Jarmusch's directorial debut. Very raw and documentary-like. Stripped of all the extras that are added with surplus budget. It remains: a great portrait of permanent tourist - an individual who never stays but drifts when the time is right.
November 14, 2011
At times betrays its low budget, especially in the frankly awful location sound recording, and some of the scenes in which Allie is shown wandering the streets make even the modest duration seem to stretch out.
Super Reviewer
November 12, 2011
One thing's for sure: Writer-director Jim Jarmusch relished long silences and deathly slow pacing from the start. "Permanent Vacation," his no-budget debut, lasts a mere 75 minutes but feels more like 175. There is no tangible plot -- only a ducktailed drifter named Allie (Chris Parker) who wanders around seedy New York, having light encounters with various subculture characters. Recurrent Jarmusch collaborators Sara Driver and John Lurie are among the cast, and Lurie also wrote the score. "Stranger than Paradise" fans (hopefully, this includes everyone?) will notice the two films have similar endings.

"Permanent Vacation" is much more of an endurance test, however. Parker dominates the screen time yet, unfortunately, he may be the film's least interesting actor. His prime handicap is a thin, whiny voice that would quickly turn unbearable if not for him having so few lines. Really, the film's most notable aspect may be its sound. The score is dominated by odd, droning lines that sound like church bells ringing underwater, and low-flying planes and ambient noise often obscure the dialogue. The mix's chance imperfections are almost avant-garde.
½ August 29, 2011
Reminds me in places of Linklater's Slacker. Jarmusch's film lacks some of the charm of his later films, however it is well put together, and his eye for run-down urban architecture is evident and beautiful.
July 10, 2011
I guess everyone has to start somewhere.
½ June 23, 2011
First off, the above description and trailer are not for this film--they are for the 2007 film of the same name. Aside from that, the first film from auteur Jim Jarmusch is a radically independent film that shows the director's debt to previous American independent pioneers like John Cassavetes. Almost plotless, like Cassavetes's Faces, Permanent Vacation concerns a young man obsessed with Charlie Parker who has chosen to drift through life instead of embracing the social ideals that promise fulfillment but that only serve to mask the underlying loneliness and alienation that reside at the core of human nature. Basically, the film unfolds as a series of tableaux in which the main character interacts with one person after another. The people he meets range from being simply depressed or weird to being outright schizophrenic. It is a portrait of society gone mad. The main character often states that people deem him mad, but he appears to be the sanest person in the film even if he is a self-proclaimed drifter/mopey, pretentious, hipster douchebag. Jarmusch's film harbors an insightful critique of society and sanity and a uniquely independent spirit, but it is poorly acted, boring, and even annoying at times. It lacks the control and power of his later films even while demonstrating the promise of the works to come.
April 17, 2011
Not as engaging or accessible as his later work, even his next film, but still has that trademark Jarmusch feel. Long takes, odd characters, simple plot...
½ November 15, 2010
Jarmusch's least communicative picture with contextual difficulties.However, towards the fading out of the narrative, the behavioural explanation of the drifter is condensed from abstraction to concretion leaving more to substantially digest and absorb than just the somewhat Godardian cinematography.
½ October 31, 2010
ephemeral and ethereal. seeemed like a tribute to the Beats and hispsters. a nice watch
August 27, 2010
A not so good movie, by then school dropping Jim Jarmusch. But I must say that the character are were interesting, spesialy in a debut-movie. And a great final shot to.
½ August 14, 2010
Opening and closing scenes are the best. Stuff in the middle - 'meh, 'twas ok.
August 14, 2010
Filmul de debut al lui Jim Jarmusch. Da ni?te dialoguri - rrup. L-am savurat integral. Bizar ?i cu tare puţin? acţiune, dar parc? a?a ?i trebu. Bine lucrat. N-o s? plac? la mult? lume.
July 20, 2010
Anyone with a passing acquaintance with student film might be inclined to forgive this puerile, posturing attempt at film art, or at least explain-away its inadequacies as those of a young wannabe auteur learning himself the ropes. But, regrettably, the film serves as incipient evidence for Jarmusch's dead-end exploration of the craft: Europe-filtered American quirks, minimalist performances which yield undeserved dissection, wasteland sets (Nykvist did 'em best in Down By Law), and profitless boredom. For fuck's sake, you don't show people reading passages from a book to develop your theme.
½ July 17, 2010
Jim Jarmusch's first feature effort may ultimately be just a pretentious student film, but it has enough strangely compelling and inspired moments to keep it interesting, particularly in its stark depiction of underground New York. Jarmusch would go on to make much better films, but this is an interesting look at his budding talent.
cosmo313
Super Reviewer
June 27, 2010
Good God was this a hard film to sit through. Conceptually, it's a good idea (a kooky dude aimlessly wandering around the dingier parts of lower Manhattan interacting with people as nutty as himself) in small doses or fragments, but to have the whole film be nothing but that...damn. Stranger Than Paradise had no real plot, but at least had some semblance of a structure. This is totally plotless and free form. I probably would have liked this more had I viewewed it in an altered state of mind. To put things in perspective though, it was made 100% on the cheap, is the essence of independent cinema, and was Jarmusch's first film, so some of this is forgiveable. It pretty much an intriguing student film that shows signs of creativity, even if things aren't completely there yet. This work heavily forshadows the future of Jarmusch's career, but I won't recommend this as a starting place for people wanting to get into his work. This is definitely for hardcore fans only.
June 17, 2010
Το ?κηνοθε?ικ? ν?εμ?ο??ο ?ο? ?ε?ά??ιο? Jim Jarmusch. ?εα??ικ?, α?αι?ε?ικ?, ονει?ικ?. ??γ?? ??θμ?? και μια α?μ???αι?α με?αξ? ονεί?ο? και ??αγμα?ικ??η?α?. Σ?ο γν???? ???λ ?ο? ?κηνοθέ?η ?ο ο?οίο ???ικά εξελί?θηκε ??ι? με?έ?ει?α ?αινίε? ?ο?. ??νο για ?ινε?ίλ!
½ June 16, 2010
Jim Jarmusch's student/debut film has definite Truffaut and Eraserhead influences but without the luck and skill those directors had. Still, his fingerprints are here, his technique is already mostly matured. The soundtrack is somewhat haunting, and sometimes Jarmusch manages to line up a good shot with the soundtrack, which underscores the purpose of the movie while at the same time doing what movies are supposed to do.
May 9, 2010
Jim Jarmusch's first movie is no masterpiece, but it still has his trademark style.
½ April 13, 2010
A chapter of a wanderer's life. Jim Jarmusch directs his first film and his style is right there from the beginning. He portrais our strange and cruel world in a very stylised and sympathetic way. The character he creates is the epitomy of the society dismissing youth and a clear nouvelle vague influence. Still, his naivety is a little overpraised and it's good to be thinking that way up to a point. This life picture is a lesser one for Jarmusch and doesn't cut as deep as "Stranger than Paradise" or "Broken Flowers". Nevertheless it is a nice little film that holds the charm of someone being young.
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