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4 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful in a less-than-obvious way, 14 Nov 2003
By 
Petrides Antonis (Nicosia, Cyprus) - See all my reviews
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It is quite possible that somebody might say they have never seen a more slow, uneventful and seemingly uninteresting film in their lives than Strangers in Paradise. It is true that throughout the film nothing really 'happens'. Strangers than Paradise demolishes all presuppositions about narrative and plot, even the minimal expectations one might have from a road movie. Yet it manages to make a point, partly because of its alluring cinematography (the serenity of the snowy landscape weighs on you unbearably), partly because of the distancing effect of the dubbing and partly because of the brilliantly performed characters, whose indifferent, tired faces captivate. This is a story about the American dream and about non-belonging. For those who were mesmerised by the obviousness of American Beauty, Strangers than Paradise will be a total anticlimax. For me, it worked.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jarmusch comes to age with minimalist classic, 13 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Its all black and white, tv diners and howling wolf, day trips into the fog, jet planes flying overhead, bringing with them that strange Hungarian relative who just can't stay. But your best friend thinks she's cool, and my god, do we have to go and visit Aunt Lottie - I mean who's the tourist here? Jim Jarmusch's minimalist classic just gets better, buy it, keep it, watch it with the one you love - It reminds you how just how cool filmmaking can be. Jarmusch tells it straight with a twist, paving the way for the film that made him - "Mystery Train" and mapping out the journeys of "Night on Earth", "Dead Man" and "Ghost Dog". Tom deCillo keeps it crisp with stunning camera work, and the cast shine throughout. Its got a spell on you.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best American film of the 80s, 15 Dec 2007
By 
Nobody (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Criterion Collection: Stranger Than Paradise [DVD] [1984] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
"Stranger Than Paradise" directed by Jim Jarmusch is a triumph of independent film-making and is a product his influences. It would be difficult to imagine other films like "Slacker" (Linklater, 1991) or "Drugstore Cowboy" (Van Sant,1989) without it. Jarmusch's influences are clearly evident in "Stranger Than Paradise" drawing from the neo-realism of Vittorio De Sica as well as Dreyer, Ozu, Bergman, Bresson and Antonioni while never really entering into their angst-ridden territory. There is no evident anxiety in these characters but rather what would one would have to regard as a pre-slacker boredom. There seems to be a underlying comic element to these observations of American popular culture as viewed from an outsider perspective that gives it an endearing quality. This is a world where Screaming Jay Hawkins, Grindhouse movies, TV dinners and hipster beat cool replace the existential anxieties of those afore mentioned directors but utilise the visual style instead to achieve its objective. I am also reminded a bit of the Direct Cinema of the Maysles brothers, most notably their masterpiece "Salesman" (1969), when watching this film.

"Stranger Than Paradise" may very well be the best American film of the 80s and is one that I would place in my top 100 ever made.

The criterion package as always is superb with the added bonus of Jim Jarmusch's 1980 directorial debut "Permanent Vacation" included.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I want to see this again!, 12 Feb 2004
By 
C. Palmer "Chris" (Doncaster, UK) - See all my reviews
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I saw this movie in an arthouse cinema as a supporting feature to the Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense" back in 1986. For the first hour I was thinking "what the..?" and then I suddenly got it...Unfortunately to this day I can't quite remember why!
I almost saw it again as half of a late night double bill with "Repo Man" but half way through, they stopped the projector and went straight to "Repo Man". When I asked why, I was told that various people had complained it was boring!
Until it's released on Region 2 PAL, I guess I'll have to keep waiting.
High spots for me were:
1. Screamin' Jay Hawkins on the soundtrack.
2. The martial arts movie sequence - If you've seen it you'll know what I mean..
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