Cinema and History : year 1986

Down by law

Jim Jarmusch

1986
United States
1h47
Fiction
B&W
English with french subtitles

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.

Cast
John Lurie, Tom Waits, Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Ellen Barkin
Screenplay
Jim Jarmusch
Photography
Robby Muller
Music
John Lurie
Art direction
Janet Densmore
Editing
Melody London
Production
Black Snake, Grokenberger Film Produktion, Island Pictures

Films in the Retrospective