Jarmusch x 3:
Mystery Train

Director: Jim Jarmusch
USA/Japan / 1989 / 110 min

Preceded by Jarmusch’s Saint Laurent–produced short, French Water

Last streamed on Thu, May 20

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Jim Jarmusch’s Memphis-set triptych tells the stories of foreigners in the birthplace of rock ’n’ roll: a young Japanese couple (Youki Kudoh and Masatoshi Nagase), a recently widowed Italian woman (Nicoletta Braschi), and an Englishman (Joe Strummer), all of whom pass through a motel with a night clerk played by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Yankee Jarmusch is a stranger here himself, though he gets right to the lonesome heart of the Memphis sound, carried through the night by radio DJ Tom Waits and epitomized by Elvis Presley’s crucially used “Blue Moon.”

Shown with French Water (France, 2021, 9 min), directed by Jarmusch and produced by Saint Laurent & Anthony Vaccarello (who also art-directed). The dinner party is over. A lone waiter (Leo Reilly) is watching guests (Julianne Moore, Chloé Sevigny, and Indya Moore) search for Charlotte (Charlotte Gainsbourg). The echoes of their whispers multiply. Vaccarello chose Jarmusch to orchestrate a dreamy, surreal ballet, following his own rules. Mysterious, elusive Charlotte keeps disappearing, and reappearing. Tangled until creating a form of vertigo, space and time spin beautifully. Into eternity.