Mystery Train (1989)

Mystery Train (1989)

Memphis, Tennessee (and Elvis Presley) are enough to draw three unexpected stories towards a run-down flophouse

6.7

Movie

Japan, United States of America
English, Italian, Japanese
Comedy, Drama
1989
JIM JARMUSCH
Calvin Brown, Elizabeth Bracco, Jim Stark
106 min

What it's about

In Memphis, Tennessee, over the course of a single night, the Arcade Hotel, run by an eccentric night clerk and a clueless bellboy, is visited by a young Japanese couple traveling in search of the roots of rock; an Italian woman in mourning who stumbles upon a fleeing charlatan girl; and a comical trio of accidental thieves looking for a place to hide.

The take

A deadpan anthology of three interconnected stories set in a run-down hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. The film's deliberate pacing, minimalist approach, and observational style are present throughout, capturing the essence of each character and their encounters with the city. 

Director Jim Jarmusch's indie film displays its characters' quirks and desires, all underlined with a love letter to Elvis Presley. Each unique segment has some charm, humor, and soundtrack that creates a palpable sense of time and place even if the sum displaces the overall narrative.

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