Jim Jarmusch’s breakthrough 1984 film, Stranger Than Paradise, a substantial commercial success at the time (grossing $2.5 million on a budget of just over $100,000), follows three meandering individuals — New York hipster Willie (John Lurie), his 16-year-old Hungarian cousin (Eszter Balint), and his gambling pal (Richard Edson) — as they stumble their way through America. The movie, as is customary with Jarmusch, is structured as a series of vignettes: There are three primary locations (New York, Cleveland, Florida), three distinct narrative sections (each one delineated with its own title), and every scene in the film is a single take, followed by a fade to black. A formative merging of European flavors and familiar New Hollywood material, Stranger Than Paradise has remained one of the most influential American indies of its decade.
Wed., April 2, 7 p.m.; Thu., April 3, 1:30 p.m., 2014
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 2, 2014