It seems like everybody wants to have an album out this year on 9/11. It's such a big week next week, with new albums from Kanye West, The Black Lips, Film School, Ani Difranco, The Shout Out Louds, Pinback, Animal Collective, Hot Hot Heat, The Go Team, and a bunch more. Unfortunately it is only 9/4 and with the recent holiday of labor day the music releases are pretty non existent today. But there are some exciting DVD releases coming out this week. It is hard to believe that two of the classic films of Jim Jarmusch
have never been on DVD. Both Night on Earth and Stranger Than Paradise are seeing their first release on DVD domestically this week. They will released through the
fantastic people of Criterion. These awesome Criterion Collection editions are not just your normal DVD packaging. These are director approved editions and they look fantastic. Both these films have been long time favorites of mine and it is nice to finally see them out on DVD. I am sure a whole new generation of people have yet to see these movies. They were the kind of movies that you could find at any indie video store of the past. But I am sure over the years the old VHS copies have been stolen or broken down by now. I first saw Stranger than Paradise for a college course and then quickly went out and rented any of the other films of Jim Jarmusch that I could find. Night on Earth was easily one of my favorites.
Stranger Than Paradise
came out in 1984. Jim had made one of the parts of the film a couple of years before that and had made only one other film before that. That first film, "Permanent Vacation" is included with this new edition of Stranger Than Paradise. It sort of became this famous little cult indie film. One of the first indie films that sort of made it into popular culture. After Down by Law in 1986 and Mystery Train in 1989, came the great film that is Night on Earth
in 1991. This was way before Taxicab Confessions. Night on Earth was basically five different stories in one film. "Five Taxis, Five Cities, One Night." The setup of the film was brilliant. While most of my cab rides have
not been this exciting. It is really interesting to see these little stories of what could happen in various cab rides throughout the World. Winona Ryder and Gena Rowlands star in the Hollywood cab ride. Gena is always fantastic and amazing to watch on the screen. Please go watch "Gloria" or "Woman Under the Influence" if you don't know what I mean. It is fun to see her here interacting as a casting agent with a young and tough cab driving Winona. I may not smoke anymore but it still is great to see these two smoking away as they have a conversation in the cab. Gena wants to cast Winona in a film but Winona has to turn her down. She seems to already have her life plan all worked out. One of other great interactions is between Giancarlo Esposito, Rosie Perez and Armin Mueller-Stahl in the New York Taxi ride. Rosie Perez is sort of like Sandra Bernhard. You either absolutely love her or you can't stand her. I am for sure on the love side. But whatever you think of her, she is perfect in this part. The dialoge is just brilliant and hilarious. The three other cab rides take place in Rome, Paris, & Helsinki. Roberto Benigni is hilarious in the Rome cab ride. He makes a very detailed sexual confession to a priest.