New York Times - 10/04/1991
"...Delirious....Jarmusch agains demonstrates his mastery of the comedy of the oblique..."
USA Today - 05/01/1992
"...[A] cutely clever premise....Minimalist filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has gone maximum..."
Film Comment - 11/01/1991
"...Jarmusch may be the first great American director to specialize in downtime....Jarmusch is a classical filmmaker..."
Entertainment Weekly - 05/15/1992
"...NIGHT ON EARTH is a series of off-the-wall duets....There are moments that catch you delightfully off guard..."
Los Angeles Times - 05/08/1992
"...[The] film has a gentle ease....The deliberate, even rhythms give the brief stories an almost fated quality..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 05/08/1992
"...Jarmusch is a poet of the night. Much of NIGHT ON EARTH creates the same kind of lonely, elegiac, romantic mood of MYSTERY TRAIN..."
Sight and Sound - 08/01/2005
"The stories produce a powerful cumulative effect."
Director Jim Jarmusch's episodic slice-of-life drama follows the adventures of five different cabdrivers in five different cities all over the world. In Los Angeles, a young female driver (Winona Ryder) charms her snooty passenger--an agent (Gena Rowlands) who believes she's found her latest star in the tomboyish cabbie. In New York, a man (Giancarlo Esposito) gets into a taxi only to find that his immigrant driver (Armin Mueller-Stahl) has no idea how to drive. The Paris segment features an angry sightless woman (Beatrice Dalle) who provokes her African driver (Isaach de Bankole). In Rome, Roberto Benigni stars as a hyperactive taxi driver who confesses his odd sexual practices to a clergyman (Paolo Bonacelli) and is shocked when the priest has a heart attack. The film's climactic scene in Helsinki follows a cabdriver who listens to a tragic and poignant tale from one of his three inebriated passengers only to top him with his own, sadder story. Colorfully photographed by Frederick Elmes, NIGHT ON EARTH features an original score by the masterful Tom Waits. Jarmusch handles his various stories--as well as actors--with his traditional lighthearted sincerity, resulting in another original tale from one of independent film's most distinct directors.
NIGHT ON EARTH presents a variety of delightful vignettes that take place one night in different taxis all over the world. The cities--Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Rome, and Helsinki--are filled with interesting characters who are at turns funny, sad, and poignant. In expanding his palette to the rest of the world, Jim Jarmusch once again delivers a memorable portrait of modern life, with his own original vision.
Big City |
Short Stories |
Theatrical release: May 1992.
Filmed on location in New York City; Rome, Lazio, Italy; Los Angeles; Helsinki, Finland; and Paris, France.
During the Helsinki segment, Finnish is the language spoken, with English subtitles.
Jarmusch, who writes most of his major roles with specific actors in mind, met with his first rejection on NIGHT ON EARTH when John Turturro was unable to appear due to a scheduling conflict.