Tomorrow night at 6:30, the VCS department will present Down by Law, the second entry in this semester’s biweekly film series for members of the VCS community. Here’s a little more about it, via the Criterion Collection website:
Director Jim Jarmusch followed up his brilliant breakout film Stranger Than Paradise with another, equally beloved portrait of loners and misfits in the American landscape. When fate brings together three hapless men—an unemployed disc jockey (Tom Waits), a small-time pimp (John Lurie), and a strong-willed Italian tourist (Roberto Benigni)—in a Louisiana prison, a singular adventure ensues. Described by Jarmusch as a “neo-Beat noir comedy,” Down by Law is part nightmare and part fairy tale, featuring sterling performances and crisp black-and-white cinematography by the esteemed Robby Müller.
The page linked above also includes the film’s theatrical trailer.
For a more in-depth appraisal, check out the essay “Down by Law: Chemistry Set” by writer and critic Luc Sante, also from the Criterion site. The following essays are also worth checking out (though if you haven’t seen Down by Law yet and want to approach it with fresh eyes, you might want to wait to read them–and the piece above–until after the screening).
“Film Reflection: Down By Law (1986)- Jarmusch’s Surreal Contemplative Film Focusing on Character Personalities and Visual Ambiance” (Generation Film!, April 18, 2010)
“DOWN BY LAW by Jim Jarmusch” from Magill’s Cinema Annual, 1987
“Jim Jarmusch – Down By Law (1986)” by Eric Corson (Sporadic Scintillations, December 22, 2011)