Strummer Week: The Movies

Joe Strummer, Rick Aviles, and Steve Buscemi in Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train

  Today’s Strummer week post covers Joe Strummer’s sideline career in films. While Joe composed film scores and wrote songs for films, he also appeared in a few of them. The first was 1980’s Rude Boy, a film conceived by the Clash’s manager Bernie Rhodes, likely in a chess move response to frenemy Malcolm McLaren’s film project for the Sex Pistols, The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle. While the main attraction of the film is live footage of the Clash, a story involving “roadie” Ray is woven in. The success of the film is debatable, and while it is a must-see for hardcore fans, the band ended up hating it in the end. Rude Boy excerpt   Joe’s next foray into film would be his own creation Hell W10. Written and directed by Joe in the summer of 1983, the black and white gangster film featured members of the Clash as well as their friends and business associates. The film was thought lost until, as the story goes, a rough copy was purchased out of the back of a car by a pair of fans. The found film was given a Clash-driven soundtrack and can be found on The Essential … Continue reading

Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch: The Mystery of Heaven

Jarmusch Van Wissem

I’ve been a little slow getting to this one (then again, I’ve been a little slow on everything lately – sorry, friends), but I would watch film director Jim Jarmusch open a can of beans and listen to him play his armpits, so I was thrilled to learn he was collaborating on an album with composer and lutenist Jozef Van Wissem. Fortunately for all of you who might not be Jarmusch zealots, the resulting work is a damn site more pleasant and entrancing than either beans or armpits. Indeed, there are moments when you feel you are listening to a soundtrack from one of Jarmusch’s films, which have always been excellently scored.   “The Sun of the Natural World is Pure Fire” – Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch   Jarmusch and Van Wissem released an album, Concerning The Entrance Into Eternity, back in February and are already set to release a second album, The Mystery of Heaven.     Heaven will be out on November 13 and includes vocals from Tilda Swinton (both Van Wissem and Swinton are involved in Jarmusch’s forthcoming film, Only Lovers Left Alive). Jarmusch and Van Wissem will play a record release show at Le … Continue reading