Night on earth is a classic cult comedy / drama where the small dramas of everyday life make for great film making and viewing. The film was directed the acclaimed auteur, Jim Jarmusch.
The beauty of this film is that it is set across the world on one night and is five separate stories involving five separate taxis in five separate cities, in obviously, five separate countries. The cities, Los Angeles, New York, Paris Rome and Helsinki.
This influential film is a classic because it inspired a sort of new wave of films which were in kind, collective short stories. Here, the short stories are all the same; each story has a Taxi driver dealing with a different assortment of passengers.
The first story is set in LA, where the cabbie ‘Corky’, Winona Ryder, picks up an Hollywood executive, played by Gena Rowlands. During the entire ride, Rowland’s character tries to convince ‘Corky’ to be an actress though to not much success; Corky is very happy and content doing what she does! Being a taxi driver and interacting with her passengers.
Another story is set in Rome, Italy, where has the famous Italian actor, Roberto Benigni, picks up a priest, and basically the priest confesses all of his sins and all the wrongdoings that he has done in his life with Roberto trying to become a sympathetic ear.
Another story is set in Helsinki, Finland, where it’s snowing and the driver, Mika, picks up three factory workers who seem to be telling tales of woe and sadness and Mika ends up trumping all their tales with his own sad story.
Another story is one from New York where the story focuses on an immigrant from East Germany who struggles understand the chaotic nature of the passengers who come into his taxi.
There is also a story in Paris where basically, two or three passengers, seem to underestimate their driver who is wiser than he seems.
The beauty of the film is that it shows that, all around the world, people are going through the same struggles for the same things. The film is enjoyable as it has a sense of empathy and pathos running throughout the entire film.