POTD: Originality is Non-Existent

POTD: Originality is Non-ExistentOriginality is Non-Existent Spokane, Washington 2013

This is a very scary assertion for an artist, or at the very least one that should stimulate some serious contemplation. It’s actually a quote from Jim Jarmusch, the movie director who is most well known (at least to me) for the movie Dead Man. Dead Man is probably one of Johnny Depp’s least known films. It’s a great movie in my opinion, although not for the less adventurous cinema fan. Here is the context of Jarmusch’s quote, a perspective I can largely agree with:

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, The Golden Rules of Filming


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