I have never been to Memphis, but it seems like one of those places that is somewhere between dilapidated and depressing and completely magical. It’s the birthplace of “The King” Elvis Presley, the home of the blues, and some say the birthplace of rock and roll. Jim Jarmusch uses it perfectly as a backdrop for his film in three parts Mystery Train. It’s all about a group of people unknowingly connected through Elvis, a gunshot, and a shitty Motel run by the always amazing (and here quite dapper) Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.
My favorite of the three is “Far from Yokohama” a story about an Elvis and Carl Perkins obsessed couple from Japan sightseeing in Memphis. This section of the film is perfectly styled. I’ll even let it slide that Jun is wearing my least favorite shoes in the whole world: Patent Leather CREEPERS! (barf!!!) because it makes sense that his pompadoured cool guy character would wear them, and lovingly buff them at night. Also adorable is his girlfriend’s Elvis scrapbook comparing the king visually to Buddha, Madonna, and even the Statue of Liberty. The other stories are impressive as well and include cameos by Steve Buscemi, Joe Strummer and the ghost of Elvis Presley.