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The Travelers Guide to Jim Jarmusch

Posted March 24, 2009 to photo album "The Travelers Guide to Jim Jarmusch"

Permanent Vacation
Stranger than Paradise
Down by Law
Mystery Train
Night on Earth
Dead Man
Year of the Horse
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Coffee and Cigarettes
Broken Flowers
Mystery Train

Mystery Train

Mystery Train: For his fourth feature, Jarmusch moved a few miles north and set three vignettes inside and around a Memphis hotel. Here Jarmusch explored further his interest in unconventional film structures. Whereas Stranger than Paradise was composed of three discrete but connected sections, Mystery Train consisted of three stories featuring different characters––this time, almost entirely foreigners––that occurred simultaneously but were told one after the other. Linking them all is the hotel managed by Screamin' Jay Hawkins – an environment that casts a magical spell. The film is Jarmusch's first shot in color––again, by Robby Müller––and in its luminous nighttime cinematography it is an ode to Americana, recording studios, music, the night, and the poetic art that is inspired by all of these things. In his review of the film, Roger Ebert wrote, "Jarmusch believes in an American landscape that existed before urban sprawl, before the sanitary sterility of the fast-food strips on the highways leading into town. His movies show us saloons where everybody knows each other, diners where the short-order cook is in charge, and vistas across railroad tracks to a hotel where transients are not only welcome, they are understood…. The best thing about Mystery Train is that it takes you to an America you feel you ought to be able to find for yourself, if you only knew where to look."