Mystery Train (1989)

Feature Film | Comedy | USA/Japan | English & Japanese | 1h50m
Dir: Jim Jarmusch | Scr: Jim Jarmusch | Ph: Robby Müller | Prod: Jim Stark | Mus: John Lurie | Ed: Melody London | PD: Dan Bishop | Snd: Robert Hein | Cast: Nagase Masatoshi, Kudoh Youki, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Cinqué Lee, Nicoletta Braschi, Elizabeth Bracco, Tom Noonan, Stephen Jones, Joe Strummer, Rick Aviles, Steve Buscemi, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Rockets Redglare, Tom Waits

Jarmusch’s laidback comedy consists of three short films, linked by a rundown Memphis hotel, which run in parallel to each other. In Far from Yokohama, two Japanese tourists – one an Elvis nut, the other a Carl Perkins fanatic – visit Sun Studio, consider visiting Graceland, compare their surroundings to Yokohama, and check in to the aforementioned cheap hotel. A Ghost sees a recently widowed Italian woman, in town on an unexpected layover, share a hotel room with a local woman who has just left her common-law husband. However, they are not alone for long. And in the final episode, Lost in Space, a drunken, recently unemployed Englishman, whose common-law wife has just left him, shoots a man whilst robbing a liquor store and hides out with his best friend and brother-in-common-law in the (unbeknownst to him) same seedy hotel as his estranged other half. Excellent production values, charming performances, and unpredictable plotting make this a thoroughly enjoyable film, but it is also a decidedly minor one when compared to Jarmusch’s two previous concoctions.