John Lurie

by Adam Reger

I hadn’t noticed, but the actor, musician, artist, and TV host John Lurie apparently disappeared some time in the aughts (or whatever you want to call the decade that just ended; I’m not in love with “aughts” either). The New Yorker is on the case, with a tease that you can read in full (and that has a revealing slide show presenting Lurie then and now). The tease tease a longer story in this week’s magazine, the link to which, unless you have digital access, will bring you only as far as the abstract. The abstract makes for weirdly fascinating reading, though, and if you read many New Yorker articles the last few sentences may strike you (as they did me) as funny, in the sense of encapsulating the NYer m.o.

Lurie is, for me, a permanent topic of interest because of his roles in two of Jim Jarmusch’s best films, Stranger than Paradise and Down by Law. The first of those is often credited with birthing, or at least being in the Baby Boom of, American independent film. The second is, for me, one of those movies that, if you were to tell me you didn’t care for it, I would feel no compunction in calling you a jerk.