Film Analysis: NIGHT ON EARTH
Course evaluations


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Amy Elder

I really enjoyed this film, it was one of my favorites of the films we have watched this term. I really enjoyed the characters and the comedy in this film. The characters all seemed like people that we would see in a night out on the town in any of these cities. I really liked the fact that Jarmusch was able to turn a simple cab ride in different cities into a film. I also enjoyed that he used eccentric, animated characters to bring the film to life.
I really enjoyed the "randomness" of the vignettes. It felt like we were getting a little glimpse of each city as if we were a fly on the wall in those taxis. I was amazed at how he was able to tell an entertaining story within the confines of the frame within the frame, being the taxi cab. The audience didn't know what was going on outside of the cab most of the time, but it didn't matter to me because I was interested in the characters and what they were saying or doing.

Josh Noble

I was impressed by the mood and atmosphere of Night on Earth. There was no greater moral message by the film's conclusion. Instead Jarmusch created a detail world that allows the viewer to feel like a passenger in each of the cabs. The cities were each unique although they all seemed a bit emptier than most would think.

Anna Markee

I liked Night on Earth, I thought it was very entertaining. I especially liked how at the beginning of each vignette we are shown the clock of the city we were going to and then we are taken there on a map before the filming actually starts. This allows me to see that each vignette is not happening separately, but all at the same time. i also liked how the beginning shots of the city were more realistic images of how the big city typically looks. I'm sure there are some beautiful parts of the city but I think what was shown was a more common image of a big city. This also set the tone for the movie.

Hope Sneddon

This film was entertaining and interesting. There weren't shots that showed the most well known and beautiful parts of the cities but instead we were shown parts that someone who lived there would see on a regular basis. I liked how real the film felt, there were issues such as race or identity that were addressed and that was an aspect that caught my attention.

Lauren Hiland

I think this was my favorite film so far, it was very interesting and I liked the different interactions between the cab drivers and their passengers. I liked the fact that all the stories were actually happening at the same time, just at different places in the world. I also liked how we saw the cities kind of from the view of the cabbies, when we were in New York we didn't see the statue of libery, or in Paris we didn't see the eiffel tower, we saw streets, and old parking lots, and things like that, that could really be viewed just about anywhere.

Lisa King

I really enjoyed watching this film. The concept was relatively simple, but the expressions, emotions and, stories told were dynamic, and very different between one segment to the next.
I rather liked that we didn't see the "big" sites in each city. It made it more realistic in the sense that what parts of the cities we did see were places that the average citizen would actually see if they were riding a cab there in real life.

Amy Elder

I also liked the realistic settings of the film. The shots of the more unknown places in the city made me feel like I was traveling through the city observing the local geography. This made the cab rides feel more authentic because they also represented the local "flavor" of the city. This film was interesting because it wasn't focused on what mainstream movies usually focus on. This film focused on the unknown or less popular parts of the city. This shows Jarmusch's fondness of being different and making independent films.

Lily Miller

I liked this film a lot. It seemed like it was more in the realm of everyday happenings. Even though the "episodes" are short I felt like I got enough of the stories that we were able to see in the film. Some of the stories were on the gloomy side but I was still entertained and my interest was kept throughout the film.


At first when watching this I noticed the 2 hour run time and was not excited. Although the pacing of the film made me forget how long it was. Even I'm the scenes where that Roman driver wouldn't stop talking seemed relatively short.

Compared to Jarmusch's other film, this seemed almost commercial. It was such a different movie with the color film, shorter takes, intro/outro graphics and musical score. But at the same time his realistic portrayal of characters and the relationships between strangers seemed to connect with the relationships of the main characters in his other film as well.

Anna Markee

Before reading Rob's comment, I didn't know that the film was 2 hours. Considering the length of the film, along with the single setting, I was surprised that it was able to interest so many people. The majority of the people seemed to really enjoy this movie, as did I. I don't know when the last time was that I saw a film that only took place in one tiny little space. When I think about this idea, it sounds cramped and really boring. However, I never ceased to be interested throughout Night on Earth.

Karl Amspacher

I liked this film, and enjoy the style of filming that Jarmusch uses. I thought that at moments it felt similar to Stranger Than Paradise, but even so it was still interesting to watch. It was a bit odd to have the sad story in Helsinki at the end of the film, but it was my favorite vignette. Also this is my fourth time trying to post this, and I'm not sure whats up with that.

Katlyn Sylvia

I think that this filmed connected very well to Stranger Than Paradise in terms of the minimalistic directorial choices. There was no 'point' that the director was leading us to, and it was difficult for me to simply let things be as Suarez says is necessary with Jarmusch films. I liked the combination of comedy and 'real' used in each of the vignettes. It seemed like an accurate representation of people, even without Jarmusch spoon feeding the audience a particular moral code to follow with each story.

Lucas Ashland

This movie reminded me of TV version of a bottle episode, where almost all of the eposide is shot from the same interior place. Like the "Chinese Restaurant" episode of Seinfeld, or the Family Guy episode where Brain and Stewie get trapped inside of bank vault for basically the entire episode. It's interesting that these sorts of episodes become some of the most beloved episodes of the series.

Night on Earth is almost like 5 different bottle TV episodes all woven together into one movie. The movie works well as a comedy because it forces characters with completely opposite backgrounds to interact in a closed and close space. The way this movie was filmed allowed the viewer to observe the many awkward moments between the two characters as they learned and attempted to interact with each other.

Melissa Werner

I admit, since I didn't care for Stranger Than Paradise, I was a bit worried when I started watching this, but I really liked it! To me, it was interesting because the passengers and drivers were somewhat like reflections of each other - parallels, but also opposites. For example, when we see the characters Victoria Snelling and Corky first encounter each other, they're both on phones, busy reassuring their respective bosses and, after hanging up, in unison say, "Shit." This establishes a parallel. Later, when she's trying to scout Corky, we see that they're opposite in that Corky is exactly where she wants to be, as opposed to Victoria's desperate search for an actress. If you look at each vignette, this idea seems to hold true. My favorite would have to be the one in Paris, when the driver (who is clearly sick of being discriminated against) is discriminatory towards the blind woman.

Jose Arredondo

I liked this film because it held my interest all the way through with its colorful characters and different emotions. The vignettes shown in the film each had their own mood and own story lines. This i believe was the films greatest strength because it showed different ways in which these strangers got to know each other. The bonding processes they go through was reflected very well through m-e-s because we can see many changes within the Compositions and Staging Positions of the characters as they get to know each other.

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