“Hey little bird fly away home, your house is on fire, your children are alone”
Jim Jarmusch fans out there? You know what I’m talking about. Jarmusch and Tom Waits are such kindred spirits, they should make movies together all the time. Tom Waits should be the guy in all the Jim Jarmusch movies. They both have an affinity for Americana, the real Americana, the Americana of broken down cars on the front lawn, the land of weed-choked sidewalks and trainyards, one-barstool honky-tonks, old motel rooms with mysterious stains on the carpet, and the men who feel at home in those places. Down By Law is the most perfect example of that vision, full of vistas of the New Orleans tourists don’t get to see, and the bayou beyond. So what it was filmed in 1986. It could be anytime; those shotgun shacks don’t change much. I don’t think I’ve ever not liked a Jim Jarmusch movie, but this is the best one without question. It’s also the best Tom Waits screen performance without question, being that his entire persona seem to incorporate what this movie is trying to say. Or the other way around. This movie is the movie of all the Tom Waits songs and the movie of everything we think Tom Waits is. And also, where else are you gonna see him sing the ice cream song?