35mm Print!

Down by Law


Part of  The Films of Jim Jarmusch – Every Thursday in September! 

Jim Jarmusch followed up his brilliant breakthrough film Stranger than Paradise with this pitch-perfect Louisiana-set comic odyssey that re-teamed him with Stranger star John Lurie.

“A total delight … one of the great cult films of the ‘80s.” – Martin Chilton, Telegraph

In Down by Law, three rebellious deadbeats – a prickly, unemployed radio DJ (Tom Waits), a laconic, small-time pimp (Lurie), and a gregarious Italian expat armed with a handbook of English idioms (Roberto Benigni) – form an unlikely alliance when they land in the same New Orleans jail cell.  Naturally, a singular (and hilarious) adventure ensues.  Described by Jarmusch as a “neo-Beat noir comedy,” Down by Law is part nightmare and part fairy tale – an endlessly quotable descent into comic chaos that also serves as a peerless study of male friendship and a love letter to the bayous and back alleys of Louisiana, featuring sterling performances and crisp black and white cinematography by Robby Müller.  As Benigni’s character astutely observes (in what could be the refrain of Jarmusch’s entire body of work):  “It’s a sad and beautiful world.” (Dir. by Jim Jarmusch, 1986, USA, USA/ West Germany, in English/ Italian with subtitles, 107 mins., Rated R)