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A Japanese couple obsessed with 1950s America goes to Memphis because the male half of the couple emulates Carl Perkins. Chance encounters link three different stories in the city, with the common thread being the seedy hotel where they are all staying. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
This film contains some of the last known footage of Stax Records. See more »
After Charlie drops the liquor bottle, the position of the glass fragments change between shots. See more »
Don't call me Elvis! If you can't use my proper name, why don't you try "Carl Perkins, Jr." or something? I mean, I don't call them "Sam & Dave", do I?
Hey, man. My name is Dave.
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Jim Jarmusch's follow-up to 1986's "Down By Law" is an engrossing trio of stories revolving around one night in a run-down Memphis hotel. Continuing his tradition of casting musicians as actors, he enlists Joe Strummer as a British Elvis and the late Screamin' Jay Hawkins as the hotel night clerk. R&B great Rufus Thomas appears in the train station, and Tom Waits is the voice of the radio DJ. John Lurie provides the score, along with a fabulous soundtrack of classic Memphis music (from Elvis Presley to the Bar-Kays). The stories are intertwined, with certain events being shown from the perspective of each of the three sets of characters. The town has fallen a bit since its heyday as a musical hotbed, but the spirits of its past can be sensed in the delapidated buildings and landscapes, all lovingly embraced by Jarmusch's lens. All of the night shots were actually filmed at night, and some scenes are subtitled in Japanese and Italian. As is typical with Jarmusch's work, the action unfolds at a leisurely pace, and not without some humor. The film's juxtaposing of cultures is a popular theme with the director, and one he would use again in his next anthology piece, "Night On Earth."
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