Mystery Train

Directed by Jim Jarmusch, USA 1989
106 mins. English dialogue


Two Japanese tourists besotted with the King's legacy and 1950's American retro-culture in general, decide to visit Memphis, where they experience the superficiality to which his iconic status has been reduced. The film's portrayal of Elvis' birthplace, possibly one of the most featureless, gritty and desolate representations of urban America ever committed to film, is a deceptively clever and substantial take on American subcultures. The cool, laid-back pace of the film allows the humour to hit you unexpectedly, and the timing is often genius. Screamin' Jay Hawkins as the sleazy motel receptionist is a revelation. Very, very watchable.

What the Critics say:
"The best thing about 'Mystery Train' is that it takes you to an America you feel you ought to be able to find for yourself, if you only knew where to look."  (Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times)