John Lurie (born December 14, 1952) is an American musician, painter, actor, director, and producer. He co-founded the Lounge Lizards jazz ensemble, acted in 19 films, including Jim Jarmusch‘s Stranger Than Paradise (1984), with Eszter Balint and Richard Edson; and Down by Law (1986), with Tom Waits and Roberto Benigini; composed and performed music for 20 television and film works, and produced, directed, and starred in the Fishing with John television series. In 1996 his soundtrack for Barry Sonnenfeld‘s Get Shorty (1995), with John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, and Danny DeVito; was nominated for a Grammy Award, and his album The Legendary Marvin Pontiac: Greatest Hits has been praised by both critics and fellow musicians.
Other films he’s composed for include Jarmusch’s Mystery Train (1989), with Youki Kudoh, Masatoshi Nagase, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Cinqué Lee, Nicoletta Braschi, Elizabeth Bracco, Rick Aviles, Joe Strummer, and Steve Buscemi; Wayne Wang and Paul Auster’s Blue in the Face (1995), with Harvey Keitel, Victor Argo, Giancarlo Esposito, Roseanne Barr, Michael J. Fox, Lily Tomlin, Mira Sorvino, Lou Reed, Mel Gorham, Jarmusch, and Malik Yoba; Manny & Lo (1996), with Scarlett Johansson, Aleksa Palladino, and Mary Kay Place; Excess Baggage (1997), with Alicia Silverstone, Benicio del Toro, and Christopher Walken; Clay Pigeons (1998), with Joaquin Phoenix, Vince Vaughn, and Janeane Garofalo; Buscemi’s Animal Factory (2000), with Dafoe, Edward Furlong, Danny Trejo, John Heard, Mickey Rourke, Tom Arnold, Seymour Cassel, Shell Galloway, and Mark Boone Junior.
Other acting roles include Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas (1984), with Harry Dean Stanton, Dean Stockwell, Nastassja Kinski, and Hunter Carson; Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), with Rosanna Arquette and Madonna; Martin Scorsese‘s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), with Willem Dafoe, Keitel, Barbara Hershey, Andre Gregory, Stanton, and David Bowie; David Lynch‘s Wild at Heart (1990), with Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Dafoe, Stanton, and Isabella Rossellini; Just Your Luck (1996), with Sean Patrick Flannery, Virginia Madsen, and Ernie Hudson; and Abel Ferrera’s New Rose Hotel (1998), with Walken, Dafoe, and Asia Argento.
Since 2000, Lurie has suffered from symptoms attributed to chronic Lyme disease and has focused his attention on painting. His art has been shown in galleries and museums around the world. His primitivist painting Bear Surprise became an internet meme in Russia in 2006. He has an upcoming documentary series for HBO called Painting with John.
each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Rome ‘78 (1978) – directed by James Nares – actor
- Men in Orbit (1979) – director, writer, actor
- Red Italy (1979) – directed by Eric Mitchell – actor
- The Offenders (1980) – directed by Beth B & Scott B – actor
- Underground U.S.A. (1980) – directed by Eric Mitchell – actor
- Permanent Vacation (1980) – directed by Jim Jarmusch – actor, composer
- Subway Riders (1981) – directed by Amos Poe – actor
- Variety (1983) – directed by Bette Gordon – composer
- Stranger Than Paradise (1984) – directed by Jim Jarmusch – actor, composer
- Paris, Texas (1984) – directed by Wim Wenders – actor
- Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) – directed by Susan Seidelman
- Down By Law (1986) – directed by Jim Jarmusch – actor, composer
- The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) – directed by Martin Scorsese – actor
- The Little Devil (1988) – directed by Roberto Benigini – actor
- Mystery Train (1989) – directed by Jim Jarmusch – composer
- Wild at Heart (1990) – directed by David Lynch – actor
- Fishing with John (1991) – creator, director, composer, self – TV series, 6 episodes
- Keep It for Yourself (1991) – directed by Claire Denis – composer – short
- John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards Live in Berlin 1991 (1992) – directed by Garret Linn – himself – documentary
- Get Shorty (1995) – directed by Barry Sonnenfeld – composer
- Blue in the Face (1995) – directed by Wayne Wang & Paul Auster – composer
- Just Your Luck (1996) – directed by Gary Auerbach – actor
- Manny & Lo (1996) – directed by Lisa Krueger – composer
- Excess Baggage (1997) – directed by Marco Brambilla – composer
- Lulu on the Bridge (1998) – directed by Paul Auster – composer
- New Rose Hotel (1998) – directed by Abel Ferrara
- Clay Pigeons (1998) – directed by David Dobkin – composer
- Animal Factory (2000) – directed by Steve Buscemi – composer
- Sleepwalk (2000) – directed by James Savoca – actor
- Downtown 81 (2000) – directed by Edo Bertoglio – aka New York Beat Movie himself – filmed around 1980-81
- Tortured by Joy (2004) – directed by Henry Griffin – narrator – short
- Face Addict (2005) – directed by Edo Bertoglio – composer
- Burned (2014) – directed by Sara Godfrey – composer
- High School Confidential (2019) – directed by Paul Mantell – composer