IMDb > Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
Stranger Than Paradise
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Stranger Than Paradise (1984) More at IMDbPro »

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Stranger Than Paradise -- Willie, his pal Eddie, and visiting sixteen-year-old cousin Eva always manage to make the least of any situation, whether aimlessly traversing New York City, Cleveland, or an anonymous Florida suburb.

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   21,198 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Jim Jarmusch (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Stranger Than Paradise on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 November 1984 (West Germany) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
7 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"I put a spell on you..." See more (92 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Lurie ... Willie

Eszter Balint ... Eva

Richard Edson ... Eddie
Cecillia Stark ... Aunt Lotte
Danny Rosen ... Billy
Rammellzee ... Man With Money

Tom DiCillo ... Airline Agent
Richard Boes ... Factory Worker
Rockets Redglare ... Poker player
Harvey Perr ... Poker player
Brian J. Burchill ... Poker player

Sara Driver ... Girl with Hat
Paul Sloane ... Motel Owner

Directed by
Jim Jarmusch 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jim Jarmusch  written by

Produced by
Sara Driver .... producer
Otto Grokenberger .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
John Lurie 
 
Cinematography by
Tom DiCillo 
 
Film Editing by
Jim Jarmusch 
Melody London 
 
Production Design by
Matt Buchwald (production assistant)
Sam Edwards (production assistant)
Louis Tancredi (production assistant)
Stephen Torton (production assistant)
 
Production Management
Sara Driver .... production manager
 
Sound Department
John Auerbach .... sound editor
Jack Cooley .... sound re-recording mixer
Ollie Cotton .... sound recording engineer
Greg Curry .... sound
Drew Kunin .... production sound mixer
Melody London .... sound editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Paul Gibson .... assistant camera
James Hayman .... assistant camera
Frank Prinzi .... gaffer
Frank Prinzi .... grip
Li-Shin Yu .... assistant camera
 
Editorial Department
Tim Brennan .... negative matcher
John Dowdell .... hd colorist (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Jill Jaffe .... musician: viola (The Paradise Quartet ) (as Jill B. Jaffe)
Eugene J. Moye .... musician: cello (The Paradise Quartet ) (as Eugene Moye)
Mary Rowell .... musician: violin (The Paradise Quartet ) (as Mary L. Rowell)
Kay Stern .... musician: violin (The Paradise Quartet )
 
Production Department
Guido Chiesa .... production assistant
Tom Jarmusch .... production assistant
Una McClure .... production assistant
 
Other crew
Matt Buchwald .... production assistant
Guido Chisea .... production assistant
Sam Edwards .... production assistant
Suzanne Fletcher .... title designer
Tom Jarmusch .... production assistant
Una McClure .... production assistant
Louis Tancredi .... production assistant
Stephen Torton .... production assistant
 
Thanks
Paul Bartel .... special thanks
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
89 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film's scenes are each a single shot, followed by a few seconds of black screen.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: Shadow of a crew member just before the end of the scene where Eva is throwing away the dress.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Willie:Yeah.
Aunt Lotte:[speaks indistinctly in Hungarian]
Willie:Oh, hello, Aunt Lotte.
Aunt Lotte:[replies indistinctly in Hungarian throughout conversation]
Willie:Don't speak to me in Hungarian, please. No, I haven't heard from him, not for ten years. Yeah, I got your letter. Speak English, please! Yeah, my little cousin Eva. Yeah, I know, she's come - coming here and she's gonna stay overnight, when's she coming...
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
I Put a Spell on YouSee more »

FAQ

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33 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
"I put a spell on you...", 3 August 2005
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Stranger Than Paradise, which put filmmaker Jim Jarmusch on 'the map' in the small but superlative crop of independent filmmakers of the eighties (he was the first, then came the Coen Brothers, then Spike Lee, and then culminating in the 90's with the 'new wave' of independent filmmakers). What he presents here is a unique little treatise on youth, on the subtle and disconnected qualities that go in life when you don't have much to do. In a way it's an existentialist film without many very serious questions to deal with story or even character-wise (except until maybe the last fifteen minutes in the "Paradise" segment). Like a French New-Wave film, to which Jarmusch was heavily influenced by (i.e. the gorgeous, grainy black and white photography by Tom DiCillo), he leaves more for the audience to ponder, as they go along on their journey.

One of the things that Stranger Than Paradise has going for it is a sort of realism that, like and not-like a Wes Anderson film for example, is off-beat. Only here it is more of an urban sort of landscape and interiors that Jarmusch gives us with, along with its three principles. John Lurie as Willie is very good at having attitude when he needs it, but in reality is rather low-key in his 'hip-ness'. His cousin from Hungary pays him a visit (Eszter Balint as Eva, maybe too low-key at times, though appropriately observant of foreign territory). There is also his faithful companion Eddie, played in a great supporting tone and style by Richard Edson. The first segment of the film deals with her in New York. The second one has Eddie and Willie go to Cleveland to pay Eva a visit. Then in the third segment they go down to Florida to have some fun, only to have anything but.

In other words, those looking for a film where a lot of things 'happen' may be disappointed, or just bored. I've seen the film twice now, and on the first viewing I was a little detached from what was going on on screen, which is just little things going on with the characters, like one would see in everyday life. But on the second viewing I somehow connected more with these characters, the youth that seem to drift needlessly along. The editing of the film is also the most simplistic, though highly effective, in adding to the disconnected quality of Jarmusch's direction- no cuts during dialog, just fading to black, fading up, fading to black, fading up (Jarmusch would continue this with Down by Law and Dead Man, though not as frequent or strategic).

In fact, the whole film is rather deliberate in its style, but as the song that plays several times in the film "I Put a Spell On You" from Screamin' Jay Hawkins plays, it does work to bring a viewer in...or not. Like many in the "art-film" world, almost all of Jarmusch's films are either liked or not, and I think that's appropriate for his stories, which often deal with low-key characters dealing with unusual but either realistic or metaphorical situations. One thing I can say for certain, much like the French new-wave films inspired by it, it's imitated, but not equaled in its form.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Eva's sneakers in the motel pshu4
watch it online? kathryncairney313
a thought xartinis3
So simple and so powerful Naidox
For those wondering what became of Eszter Balint garko-1
Corgai? Korgai? (One of those posts that will prob. get zero replies) teapotasterism
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