Stranger Than Paradise

DVD - 2007
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Stranger Than Paradise
Willie, a disenchanted loner, is visited by his sixteen-year old Hungarian cousin Eva. Willie's equally slacker best friend Eddie also meets Eva, and the three become loose friends, until Eva decides to leave to visit Willie and Eva's Aunt Lottie in Cleveland. After a while Willie and Eddie are surprised to find that they miss Eva's companionship and take off for Cleveland in an old car. Finding Cleveland in winter to be disappointingly cold and unattractive, the three leave Cleveland for sunny Florida, landing there in off-season. Accidental involvement in a drug deal provides some unsuspected good fortune until it becomes time for Eva to go back home to Hungary.

Publisher: [New York] : Janus Films : Criterion Collection, c2007
Edition: Special ed. 2-disc set widescreen
ISBN: 1934121568
Branch Call Number: DVD MOVIE S
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (89 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (44 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.)


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Jun 06, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A milestone of independent cinema, Jarmusch's second film "Stranger Than Paradise" came out of the 70s maverick directors movement, but he imbued it with his idiosyncratic, deadpan tone, humor, and NYC cool. Although it's a road movie, it may be the most uneventful one in movie history. I prefer "Down by Law," but this is a keystone in the indie wave that would really crest in the 90s. This Criterion 2-disc set also includes his little seen first film from 1980, "Permanent Vacation." Although he's as identified with NYC as Lou Reed or Martin Scorsese, his films usually take place somewhere else and I think this is his sole feature to take place entirely in the city. It's a very low-budget, amateurish affair that is notable for the genesis of his style and themes, which are recognizable, but undeveloped. It is maybe most interesting as a glimpse of a gritty, dirty, impoverished NYC c. the late 70s. John Lurie, who would have a long association with Jarmusch, has a small role, as does the dude who played Burrell on "The Wire." Also, check out "Fishing with John" and "She's Gotta Have It."

Mar 03, 2014
  • tkwu21 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

There hasn't been many American films done with this type saddist/minimalist tone. It seemed almost like a European film in English. This is the absolute opposite of what the studios of Hollywood tried to make America into: a glamourous and extravagant life style. Unfortunately there are a lot of parts of America that have the same feeling of hopelessness as portrayed in the film. Even spring break state Florida was made sad. A very good reminder of the stakes of pursuing the American dream.

Apr 23, 2012
  • Michael rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Fans of "No Wave Cinema"/"Cinema of Transgression" are going to hate me for this - because this is considered a classic film of those late 70's-early 80's genres... But, here goes, anyway: If you like boring ridiculous stories - about 3 boring ridiculous people... trapped in very boring ridiculous lives... yeah... it's a minimalist wonder... But this ain't pre-Reagan Lower Eastside, New York... and if you're like most people today who take in a film - to be entertained or enlightened - this flick will make you want to bounce off the walls - if not before it ends - then most certainly, at its ending! Hmmm... come to think of it - by "Cinema of Transgressions" standards - I guess that would make this movie a success! It really sticks in the craw of upper-middle class North America! (And as an aside... lol... that ending? Serves them all right for being such goofs!!!) ...p.s. If you end up liking this movie - then rush out and rent BLANK CITY - the really excellent semi-documentary film that truly captures this fascinating era in American cinema - the grand-daddy of today's Indie films. At least that film knows how to engage its audience - and hold it!

Nov 06, 2011
  • mattblais rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

a minimalistic masterpiece


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