Down by Law
Down by Law: Jim Jarmusch described his next movie, Down by Law, as a "neo-Beat noir comedy." Shooting once more in black and white (this time, by the great Robby Müller, known for his work with Wim Wenders), Down by Law again features three central figures: a pimp (John Lurie), a DJ (Tom Waits) and what has become the quintessential Jarmusch character, the genial cultural outsider––an Italian tourist played by Roberto Benigni. The film is set entirely in Louisiana, and Lurie follows these characters through the streets, bars, and swamplands of America's most exotic region, combining deadpan humor with a prison-break storyline right out of a '50s programmer. Although the film shared with Stranger than Paradise a refusal to overdramatize, it was much lighter in tone. "I am tired of the cinema of despair and existential angst," Jarmusch said at the time. "I'm interested in comedy in a new kind of context. Not just sight gags. Not just linguistic jokes. But humor based on small details, things from daily life that are funny."