Mystery Train released
Jim Jarmusch's fourth feature, Mystery Train, opened in the States on November 7, 1989. Unlike his previous two films, Stranger than Paradise and Down By Law, Mystery Train was shot in color, all the better to capture the sun-burnt skies and neon nights of Memphis, Tennessee. The film boasted a larger cast than Jarmusch's previous movies, and that's because Mystery Train told not one but three stories. While the director's work always had an episodic construction, Mystery Train dispensed with the traditional linear three-act structure entirely to tell a trio of overlapping tales, all united by a central hotel location. At the time, some critics criticized Jarmusch for making a collection of shorts but now, after similar structures have been employed in many films, and short-form work has been rejuvenated by the internet, Jarmsusch's interests seem prophetic. "They gave me so much shit for [the short-form structure]," he said in an interview years later. "Like, 'It's just an episodic thing and it's not really a feature film!' Now it's okay."