Our favorite Jarmusch film at last makes it to DVD, in this bonus-laden Criterion edition. Five cities. Five taxis. One night. One film. Watch it. Night on Earth is a true pleasure; one that presents us with a world -- so different from the one we seem stuck in today -- in which a variety of people of different stripes manage to share their fundamental humanity with each other, all at once, all over the world, and we, the audience, can believe that we too are part of it. Finishing the film you will feel more hopeful that this day (or should we say night?) will come again.
Accompanying the aforementioned release of Night on Earth is the film in which Jarmusch first forged his idiosyncratic, humorous and insightful brand of alienation and came into his own. Stranger than Paradise established Jarmusch on the indy film scene and its success enabled him to pursue his vision; which he has vigorously done ever since, creating a singular body of work that includes some of the most memorable films of the last twenty years. Also included on this 2-disc Criterion edition is Permanent Vacation (1980), Jarmusch's first feature film, which has never been widely distributed and will be first seen here by most.
Looking for the heppest film of the year? Look no further: this is it. Not that many people even know about this film, let alone have seen it. It played here in Pittsburgh for a week at the Oaks, and then was gone. But now it's back, on DVD. Fifteen years in the making. Filmed in glorious black and white, featuring performances by Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Roberto Begnini, Joie Lee, Cinqué Lee, Cate Blanchett, Meg White, Jack White, Alfred Moline, Steve Coogan, Renée French, GZA, RZA, Taylor Mead, Bill Rice, and Bill Murray!