night on earth - five taxis five cities one night [VHS] shipping included!

night on earth - five taxis five cities one night [VHS] shipping included!

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I watched this film late at night, when every sane person is supposed to be asleep, out of their cars and in their beds. Life still goes on, however, for the taxi-drivers who move people from one quiet location to another in the wee hours of the night. The locations are quiet, but the people are not, and the dialogue in this movie is humorous, meaningful, and real. A temporary bond is formed between passenger and driver (sometimes the roles are even reversed, as in the New York vignette featuring Helmut Grokenberger and YoYo, played by Armin Mueller-Stahl and Giancarlo Esposito, respectively). Armin Mueller-Stahl, born in 1930, may be relatively unknown to American audiences (as opposed to, say, Rosie Perez), but he did play Vertikoff in the George Clooney flick "The Peacemaker" (1997). Who is the stranger at the wheel who is responsible for bringing one home? What kind of person drives late at night, waiting for the dispatcher's call to a new address? A passenger has to pay him or her at the end of the ride, but there is still a feeling of gratitude, and even affection, towards this gruff conveyor of souls. "You're a good man, Mika," the half-drunk, initially hostile, Finnish workers tell their driver (played by Matti Pellonpää) at the end of their journey. Or a battle of wits takes place, as evidenced by the Paris vignette. Ivorian actor Isaach De Bankolé (who also appears in Jim Jarmusch's "Coffee and Cigarettes") is great here as a luckless "taxiste" whose prying questions are turned against him by his blind passenger (played by Béatrice Dalle). Roberto Benigni is of course hilarious, and does here what he does best: rapid, hilarious dialogue with a lot of gesticulation and wide grins.


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