7 October 2014

Jarmusch Collection Blu-ray Review - Night On Earth (1992)

Comedy, Drama
Soda Pictures
BD Release Date:
6th October 2014 (UK)
Rating: 18
Jim Jarmusch
Winona Ryder, Gena Rowlands, Lisanne Falk, Roberto Benigni,Isaach De Bankolé
Buy:Jim Jarmusch Box Set [Blu-ray]

Night on Earth was Jim Jarmusch’s second anthology film, and his first to be shot in different countries. It’s all about the short-lived bonding between taxi drivers and their passengers. It’s set all in the same night, but in five different cities across the world: L.A, New York, Paris, Rome and Helsinki.

The first segment, which stars Winona Ryder and John Cassevetes’ wife and muse Gena Rowlands, is by far the strongest. Ryder is a tomboy taxi driver and Rowlands is a casting director. During the course of the trip she starts considering the possibility of casting Ryder. That is followed up by a segment set in New York, which features a young Giancarlo Esposito who insists on driving after he realises that the taxi driver who has picked him up can barely drive. It’s one of the finest segments and also possibly the funniest. The film starts to have faults with the segments set in Paris and Rome, but it picks up with the darkly comedic and touching segment in Helsinki.

Jarmusch is a master of night filming, and his films perfectly convey the loneliness of nighttime, not unlike what he did in some of the segments of Mystery Train. Typically with Jarmusch the performances are top notch, Roberto Benigini is the only real fault but that is due to the fact he goes overly zany in his role. It also was the first collaboration between Jarmusch and the cinematographer Frederick Elmes, who is best known for his work with David Lynch on Eraserhead and Blue Velvet.

One of the film’s biggest strengths is the score by Tom Waits, which perfectly suits the film’s atmosphere. Night on Earth was the first film by Jarmusch to get mixed reviews, and on my first viewing I was slightly underwhelmed due to his previous films. However on a second viewing its charms become more apparent, despite the fact it does slightly drag in the third and fourth parts.


Ian Schultz


  1. this is no kind of review at all. It's as if the blu-ray picture quality was irrelevant - you don't mention it. It's as if you saw the film but didn't see the blu-ray. So it's not a review of the blu-ray release at all. You're wasting readers' time, and making yourself look stoopid by not realising the quality of the transfer is a crucial question for anyone looking to buy this product.

  2. The film is the important part...