• Another in a series of artistic triumphs for Jarmusch to close out the 80’s from Strangers in Paradise to Down by Law to this in 1989. Like the other two, it’s a film structured in three sections
  • A Jarmuschian vibe is created by a measured rhythm in the scene (pauses and carries everything a beat long)—– while the skeleton of the film is formally so sound and distinct
  • Visual poetry—dilapidated and decrepit—here- in his first color film, Jarmusch uses some neon lights to add to the mix- he also settles on one city instead of multiple- he picks Memphis here and throughout inhabits it— Memphis is a lead character
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Jarmusch and Robby Muller turn the streets green
  • The formal narrative structure strategies deployed here are pre-Tarantino. There have been other films that have been this or more creative—Rashoman, Intolerance, Destiny from Lang, Blind Chance by Kieslowksi— Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Run Lola Run, Memento– all after
  • Meditations on man’s inability to community—language barriers
  • Jazz score by John Lurie
  • Credits elliptically edited—really well done- same with end credits
  • A boarded up movie house, bars, graffiti of course in the mise-en-scene– another decaying hotel—but it’s art—pool halls, walking down the street
  • For his films color film Jarmusch picks green and his dominant realistic production design color choice– Masatoshi Nagase’s jacket, the hotel interiors, booths in the bar, the radio in the hotel is a mint color, the streets are green from the street lighting- Buscemi sits in a green chair
repetition in the walking shot– but that chair isn’t green by accident
mint green radio, green wallpaper in the believeable production design color of choice
  • Jarmusch enjoys the shots of Masatoshi Nagase and Yuki Kudo on the ground like Ozu—we have trains here like Ozu
  • It’s a hipster film for sure- fish out of water comedy (Japanese and Italian Tourists and an Englishman who looks like Elvis in Memphis).
  • The window shot at night with Nagase—pink lighting behind him and green out front
the greatest shot of the film- neon lights on both sides, the window, profile, discussion of youth and the feeling of being cool without sounding ridiculous- a feat
  • Form- repetition and variation- like the shot from behind Bill Murray in Broken Flowers we get the same streets here and different people walking down them—in the third section we get them in the car (drinking) and this actually bugs me a little, wish it was them walking to keep things tighter
repetition amidst a rigorous formal structure
section two- same time same street, same shot
  • Green luggage of Elizabeth Bracco
  • The gunshot, the hotel, the radio connects them (Tom Waits is the unseen DJ)- “Blue Moon” by Elvis
  • A Must-See film