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Episode #17: Night on Earth

Listen to Episode 17 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.

SUMMARY - Night on Earth chronicles five different cab drivers in five different cities across the globe in a single night. Starting at dusk in Los Angeles, then progressing through New York, Paris, Rome, and driving until dawn in Helsinki, the film offers a glimpse into their meaningful fares.

Screenplay by Jim Jarmusch; Directed by Jim Jarmusch, and shown at the New York Film Festival on October 4, 1991.


The movie is comprised of five segments and before each one, you have the wall of clocks

And a map that lights up. We don't know why you need both, especially since the light doesn't transition into anything in the actual scene.

Quickly going through the 5 stories, we start in LA at dusk.

Each segment is shot differently, even though they all take place in a taxi. LA is all from the front.

It's also great to see a little bit of story resolution after they arrive at the destination (and before the pick-ups)

Sprinkled in, you get a lot of shots of the cities, typically showcasing some of the more rundown aspects

New York was the best story by far.

So much fun and character

Moving to Paris and we get two fares. The first one were these diplomats or businessmen types that were rude and classist.

Then he picks up a blind passenger who is rude for other reasons.

We switch tones when going to Rome and get into the comedic side. The cab toys with the fare by making him chase around the statue.

It's very franticly paced due to the non-stop motormouth Benigni. You'll feel out of breath.

This shot doesn't do it justice, but the segment does a great job at times of showcasing the cramped European streets

Helsinki was last and also the most depressing.

Other than geography, we question why this would be the way to end the film and were there other choices that could have served the progression better?

Awards Talk - At the Film Independent Spirit Awards , there was only one category Night on Earth was nominated, and it resulted in a Win for Frederick Elmes for Best Cinematography


This week our crime segment focused on the controversies around two actresses in the film.

We start by talking about the Polly Klass case. You can listen to an episode from the podcast "Morbid" if you want more information on her story.

Polly Klass' story worked to perfectly transition into our discussion around Wynona Ryder who is from the same town. We talk about the run-ins that Ryder had with the law

And then we get into Beatrice Dalle who was in the French segment as she has been the center of several controversies and legal issues as well.

On to music, the top song in UK: Bryan Adams. You know the one. Do we really have to type it out?

But we do have a couple new entries to the podcast.

Top Song in the US -

Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch - "Good Vibrations" Feel it! Feel it!

Top R&B Song -

Vanessa Williams - "Running Back to You" The R&B charts is giving this recap some much needed diversity. It's great running across new songs to showcase.


Nikki 1-5 star scale - 3 out of 5

Jon 0-4 star scale - 3 1/2 out of 4

Would you watch it again? - The New York segment is definitely worth watching over and over, but there's nothing about the cohesive whole that warrants a full re-watch. Pick your favorite parts.

If you want to watch Night on Earth, as of this recording on May 2021, it’s available on HBO Max, Criterion Channel, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.


You can listen to us on all your major podcasting platforms and please consider rating, subscribing, and sharing with your friends.

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Join us next time for Life Stinks available on HBO Max, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD


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