A low-budget breakout film that wowed critics and audiences on its initial release, Stranger Than Paradise would prove to be a seminal film in the new American independent cinema movement and establish its director, Jim Jarmusch, as a hip, cult auteur. Taking inspiration from 1960s underground filmmaking, international art cinema, genre cinema, and punk culture, Jarmusch’s film provides a bridge between midnight movie features and a new mode of quirky, offbeat independent filmmaking. This book probes the film's production history, initial reception, aesthetics, and legacy in order to understand its place within the cult film canon. In examining the film's cult pedigree, it explores a number of threads that fed into the film—including New York downtown culture of the early 1980s and Jarmusch’s involvement in music—as well as reflecting on how the film's status has developed alongside Jarmusch’s subsequent output and reputation.
About the Author
Jamie Sexton is senior lecturer in film and television studies at Northumbria University. He is the coauthor of Cult Cinema (2011).
Table of Contents
Introduction: Stranger Than Paradise, Video, Television, and I
1. Production and Initial Reception
2. Film Analysis
3. Subsequent Reception
4. Status as a Cult Film