i’m not sure why this is considered one of the most influential films of the latter half of the century…i suppose it’s because it defined the deadpan style that so many indie filmmakers went on to imitate. in 1984 i suppose this movie was ahead of its time…now it’s just another example of an artsy black and white indie film within which characters don’t do much and aren’t very happy. as unattractive as that may sound, this film actually does a really good job with it. the three characters are well acted and are given a life of their own as soon as we’re introduced to them. the comedy is so deadpan one may not be sure whether to laugh or not, but go right ahead – there’s some good stuff in this one. jarmusch deals with negative space like a sculptor might (and like andy warhol did) – he films that which is normally left out and it works somehow. the pacing is well done – he alternates from long shots with little or no camera movement/cutting to almost picture book scenes wherein there will be a few seconds of action followed by a fade to black. it’s an interesting style that may or may not have a purpose outside of defining itself; either way it seems right. the ending was a bit of a question mark at first, but made sense after thinking about humorous fates of the hapless characters. i hope that the dvd gets a better treatment somewhere down the line.