Reviewers found this art film extraordinarily grating even for a film of the "high art" genre but admitted that some of its imagery was striking and original. The ostensible subject of this basically storyless film, shot with black-and-white and color segments, is the depressing, aimless, and futureless life of a sodden former trumpet player in the slummiest sections of Los Angeles. However, the main theme seems to be the imagery the film captures of the bleakest and most decayed portions of that famous city. Another plus is the film's jazz-oriented soundtrack.
It’s 1982, and Taeko is 27 years old, unmarried, and has lived her whole life in Tokyo. She decides to visit her family in the countryside, and as the train travels through the night, memories flood back of her younger years: the first immature stirrings of romance, the onset of puberty, and the frustrations of math and boys.
An American, Leopold Kessler (Jean-Marc Barr) goes to post-war Germany in 1945 to work as a railroad conductor for the Zentropa Rail Line instead of going into the Army because he feels its a more valuable thing to do for the state of the world.