Jim Jarmusch was trained in the late seventies among the artists of the New York punk scene. He shared in their egalitarian DIY ethos and thus considered music and cinema as one creative substance. The punk rejection of know-how was a way to attack mainstream values. Blending music and cinema is for Jarmusch a means of subversion.

The chapter shows how, in Jarmusch’s works, music and cinema must be considered as a whole and how this helps bring across critical ideas both through formal innovation and thematic content. Namely, the chapter exemplifies this process by demonstrating how Jarmusch debunks Elvis’s myth in Mystery Train and doing so also defends anti-racist ethos.