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Down and Out in Graceland

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If you stopped through Memphis in 1959, you’d be pretty damn close to the musical capital of the world. Roy Orbison, Otis Redding, and some kid named Elvis were doing the best work of their lives within the span of roughly a decade, and mostly within the city limits. Fast-forward 50 years and most of it’s in ruins, with triple the bankruptcy rate of the rest of the country and only a dead man’s mansion to show for it all.

That’s where Mystery Train comes in. Jim Jarmusch’s 1989 triptych takes a deadpan look at the ghosts of Memphis, with a little help from Joe Strummer, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (that’s him in the red suit) and a pair of Japanese hipsters. It’s a love letter to Elvis, sure, but also a clear-eyed look at what he left behind and what you’re likely to find on a pilgrimage to Graceland. And now that it’s got a Criterion edition, it should be getting the revival it deserves. Remember the King?

Death by Griddle

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Drug-fueled burnout has become a rock star cliché, but the original rock star’s burnout had more to do with chitlins than cocaine.

That’s the subject of James Marsh’s *The Burger and the King*, a doc about Elvis’ ultimately fatal obsession with the beef patty’s siren song.

From his impoverished, burgerless childhood to his fatback-fueled rise to fame, documentarian James Marsh covers the full span of the King’s development through food, complete with fat and calorie content.

More on *The Burger and the King*»