Assured first film from Jarmusch is pretty tough viewing to begin with. Slow moving or not moving at all and ponderous, seeming inconsequential dialogue but then somewhere along the line we find ourselves captivated. Beautifully shot with ugly/beautiful still shots of back streets of New York. Apart from a scene showing the lead guy spray painting a sub title for the film and thereby seeming to plant the film within the late 70s or 80s, the rest of the 'action' gives more the impression of taking place in the late 60s/early 70s. It may well be that Jarmusch has not set the film in the past but that his cinematic influences are from that period. In any event this is well worth a watch and as with all the man's films there is a fiercely compassionate element. Even when the characters appear completely unappealing, we are somehow encouraged to feel some degree of empathy.