Night on earth

Jim Jarmusch

IFFR 1992

  • 127'
  • USA
  • 1991
A film which is in reality five short film comedies. All five have the typical Jarmusch mood, which Lawrence Cohen (Variety) explained in terms of the 'quirky' humour of Jarmusch. Cohen also typified the film as an 'existential comedy' and as such in the line of Jarmusch's last film Mystery Train.The five episodes are set on the same night in different places on earth. In the opening shot, which starts in space, the earth gets nearer and nearer, after which the first section is set in Los Angeles where dusk has just fallen. At the end of the last part, set in Helsinki, dawn breaks.Each part starts with the same event: the brief encounter between a taxi-driver and his nocturnal customers. But the tone soon changes, determined by the character of the city and its inhabitants. The casting, unconventional by American standards, also plays a role: for each city actors have been chosen 'who belong there', such as Béatrice Dalle in Paris and Kaurismäki actor Matti Pellonpää in Helsinki. Some parts are extremely comic, such as the New York section with Armin Müller-Stahl and especially the part set in Rome with Roberto Benigni. The final part however, in Helsinki, is sad through and through. Oscar Moore (Screen International) wrote of it: 'Rarely has a more miserable tale been told to three more miserable people in a colder, bleaker city'.Jarmusch was his own producer for Night on Earth and had complete artistic control. He is even the owner of the film negative, which is very unusual for American films.
Jim Jarmusch
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 1992
Pyramide International, Pandora Film - OUD
Christa Saredi
Jim Jarmusch
Local Distributor
Universal Pictures Benelux