Stranger Than Paradise

Stranger Than Paradise

Director: Jim Jarmusch Cast: John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson

Blu-ray (Wide Screen / Subtitled)

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Overview

Although Jim Jarmusch made his directorial debut with Permanent Vacation (1982), Stranger than Paradise (1984) marked his breakthrough as a major American filmmaker. One of the most deadpan comedies ever committed to film, Stranger than Paradise suggests a Buster Keaton film written by Samuel Beckett and Jack Kerouac and directed by Andy Warhol. Willie (John Lurie) is a small-time gambler whose distant cousin Eva (Eszter Balint) is moving to America from Eastern Europe and informs him that she'll need to stay with him for ten days. Willie isn't happy to have Eva around, but after Willie introduces her to the joys of American cigarettes and TV dinners ("You got your meat, you got your potatoes, you got your vegetables, you got your dessert and you don't have to wash the dishes -- this is how we eat in America!"), Eva steals a frozen meal and a pack of smokes from the corner store, and Willie is both surprised and impressed. His buddy Eddie (Richard Edson) happens by, and they hang out with Eva just long enough to develop a fondness for her before she moves on to Ohio, where she'll live with her Aunt Lottie (Cecillia Stark). Months later, Willie and Eddie score $600 in a poker game and decide to visit Eva in Ohio. However, it's the dead of winter, and they have nothing to do except look at the frozen surface of the lake. The three eventually head down to the tacky paradise of Miami, where Willie and Eddie try their luck with the ponies and Eva decides what to do next. Stranger than Paradise is a film that defines the notion, "It's not what you say, but how you say it." Shot in long, static takes, its style is minimalism itself, but the post-beatnik cool of John Lurie, Richard Edson and Eszter Balint somehow betrays the fact that they care about each other, and a loopy charm and subtle but potent humor seeps through the film's stark black-and-white images. Stranger than Paradise began as a short subject which was made possible by German director Wim Wenders, who gave Jarmusch a supply of film stock left over from one of his projects, and it went on to become one of the most influential movies of the 1980s, casting a wide shadow over the new generation of independent American filmmakers to come.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/09/2019
UPC: 0715515228411
Original Release: 1984
Rating: R
Source: Criterion
Region Code: A
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Time: 1:29:00
Sales rank: 6,147

Special Features

High-Definition digital restoration, supervised and approved by Director Jim Jarmusch, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack; Audio Commentary from 1996 featuring Jarmusch and actor Richad Edson; Permanent Vacation (1980), Jarmusch's seventy-five-minute, color feature debut, presented in a high-definition digital restoration supervised by the Director; Kino '84: Jim Jarmusch, a 1984 German television program featuring interviews with cast and crew members from Stranger Than Paradise and Permanent Vacation; Some Days in January 1984, a behind-the-scenes Super 8 film by Tom Jarmusch; U.S. and Japanese trailers; Plus: A booklet feauturing Jarmusch's 1984 "Some Notes on Stranger Than Paradise," critics Geoff Andrew and J. Hoberman on Stranger Than Paradise, and author critic Luc Sante on Permanent Vacation

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Lurie Willie
Eszter Balint Eva
Richard Edson Eddie
Cecillia Stark Aunt Lottie
Danny Rosen Billy
Rammellzee Man with Money
Paul Sloane Motel Owner
Richard Boes Factory Worker
Harvey Perr Poker player
Brian J. Burchill Poker player
Sara Driver Girl with Hat
Tom Docillo Airline Agent
Rockets Redglare Poker Player

Technical Credits
Jim Jarmusch Director,Editor,Screenwriter
Guido Chiesa Production Designer
Tom DiCillo Cinematographer
Sara Driver Producer
Sam Edwards Production Designer
Otto Grokenberger Executive Producer
Tom Jarmusch Production Designer
Drew Kunin Score Composer
Melody London Editor
John Lurie Score Composer

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Stranger Than Paradise 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
TVProfessor More than 1 year ago
Jim Jarmusch of the ultra hip jazz group "The Lounge Lizards" begins an incredible body of work with this Black and White story of two losers and a foreign cousin one has to entertain. The story is good but what makes this film great are the deadpan performances, the subtleties, stunning shots and the fact that most of this movie is shot with long shots (thus eliminating the cutaways and close ups that cost money). Released to independent film houses in 1984, this movie revived the American Indy in many ways.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago