Aloof teenage Japanese tourists, a frazzled Italian widow, and a disgruntled British immigrant all converge in the city of dreams—which, in Mystery Train, from Jim Jarmusch, is Memphis. Made with its director’s customary precision and wit, this triptych of stories pays playful tribute to the home of Stax Records, Sun Studio, Graceland, Carl Perkins, and, of course, the King, who presides over the film like a spirit. Mystery Train is one of Jarmusch’s very best movies, a boozy and beautiful pilgrimage to an iconic American ghost town and a paean to the music it gave the world.
“The images of the hotel (like those of the diners and run-down houses the characters visit) recall the work of such noted photographers as Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and William Eggleston. It’s a beautiful-looking film, shot lovingly by Robby Müller and designed inventively by Dan Bishop; this was Jarmusch’s second feature in color, and its palette is perhaps the most varied and vibrant in his entire filmography.” – Ben Sachs, Cine File
“While Memphis might be a little less dilapidated than it used to be, the film remains a beautiful tribute—if not to one of the less-than-glamorous American cities, then to the puzzling and serendipitous ways we all fit together within them.” – Jeva Lange, Screen Slate
“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.” – Ebert
“Certainly Jarmusch brings back his favorite predilections (and probably always will), but he makes his passengers interesting, kicks the plot off the platform whenever possible and keeps the way ahead refreshingly uncertain.” – Desson Thomson, Washington Post
“Jarmusch’s formal inventiveness is framed by a rare flair for zany entertainmen” – Time Out
- 11/15 | 10:00PM