This Guy Walks Into This Idea…

June 29th, 2006 · No Comments
by Booksquare

In the BS ‘verse, there are a few universal truths. Let’s focus on two: “it’s not the idea”, it’s the execution, and “if you have even a remotely successful movie, you will be sued.” The latter concept is so universal, you can practically set your watch by it.

We do not pretend to have secret knowledge of the legal maneuverings behind the lawsuit du week — this one featuring Booksquare hero Jim Jarmusch and his film Broken Flowers — but we do know that creating scandal out of this statement is both silly and deliberately obtuse:

In a burst of candor, the filmmaker wrote in a column for MovieMaker magazine , “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration . . . And don’t bother concealing your thievery — celebrate it if you feel like it.”

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that Jarmusch is not embracing thievery in the form of slapping his name on someone else’s screenplay. Even presuming he’d taken total leave of his senses, his own vision is so distinctive that it would have been almost impossible to work with another writer’s words. And while we do not like to share too much about the inner workings of the BS empire, we will note that the husband has at least one ex-girlfriend who talks to cats. This is not a terribly unique concept. Cats generally train their owners to respond when spoken to. It’s just good manners.

Ideas are, well, ideas. Ideas are not tangible things. Two people can have the same idea — they can even, in the process of executing their idea, insert ten elements that are exactly the same — yet the execution of the idea will be unique to each individual. Both could be equally successful; there is no law against two projects being developed from similar ideas. It happens all the time.

Oh, and by the way, $40 million for a Jarmusch film? Oookay.

File Under: Square Pegs