Actor/composer John Lurie began his career studying the alto saxophone, then moved to New York with his brother, pianist Evan Lurie; they formed the Lounge Lizards, a freeform jazz combo that went on to gain some distinction. Beginning in 1977 he directed and appeared in his own Super-8 films, and also acted in many New York-made Super-8 films by other filmmakers. In 1980 he began scoring numerous films, most importantly Jim Jarmusch's first feature-length film, Permanent Vacation (1982), in which he also appeared. This began a significant association with Jarmusch; Lurie co-starred in Jarmusch's breakthrough film Stranger Than Paradise (1984), provided the music, and has acted in and/or scored other of Jarmusch's films as well. His work with Jarmusch brought him to the attention of other directors, and he has appeared in a handful of movies while maintaining his work as a screen composer.