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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Stranger Than Paradise
Directed by Jim Jarmusch
MGM Home Entertainment 09/84 DVD/VHS Feature Film

Stranger than Paradise, written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, centers around the adventures of three oddballs who exist on the fringes of contemporary American society. Willie (John Laurie) lives in New York City, where he has learned to get by on gambling gains. When Eva (Eszter Balint), his 16-year-old cousin from Budapest, arrives to spend some time with him, he proves to be the worlds' most inhospitable relative. His friend Eddie (Richard Edson) is more sociable but as strange as his buddy. Eva finally makes an impression on these two when she demonstrates her bravado by shoplifting.

Eva leaves for Cleveland where her aunt lives. The two New Yorkers decide to visit her there, but since it is winter and everything is bleak, the three of them head down to Florida and some misadventures. Stranger Than Paradise is a picaresque tale that successfully maintains its minimalist mood and offers several humorous incidents. The movie ends with a surprise benefiting its Beckettian flavor.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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