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6,101 Ratings

Stranger Than Paradise

Directed by Jim Jarmusch
United States, 1984
Comedy, Cult


Slacker Willie, his pal Eddie and visiting cousin Eva aimlessly pass the time of empty days. From the sparse environs they inhabit in New York to the wastelands of Cleveland.

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Stranger Than Paradise Directed by Jim Jarmusch

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1984 | Winner: Golden Camera

Sundance Film Festival

1985 | 2 wins including: Special Jury Prize (Dramatic Competition)

Locarno International Film Festival

1984 | Winner: Golden Leopard

1984 | Special Mention: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury


STRANGER THAN PARADISE has an economy; the film is put together like a wedding banquet during a food shortage, every ingredient carefully rationed. It is edited together out of shot-scenes and take-moments where nothing seems to happen because things are constantly happening: every time John Lurie’s razor makes it down his neck during a shave, every time he shuffles the cards, Eszter Balint takes a drag from one of her cigarettes or Richard Edson shrugs, it’s an event.
October 09, 2009
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While Stranger Than Paradise may be a comedy, an experiment in cinematic storytelling, and a deeply ironic fable, it’s also a film about America and the people who live there. It’s about those people’s relationships to one another, and their relationships to the rooms they inhabit, the city streets, the suburbs, diners and highways.
September 03, 2007
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This is a plaintive, intelligent, laconic New York comedy – almost avant-garde, certainly avant-garde in comparison to major feature films – that owes nothing at all to Woody Allen. What Woody Allen owes to Ingmar Bergman and Charlie Chaplin, Jim Jarmusch owes to Samuel Beckett and Buster Keaton… From beginning to end, Jarmusch carries it off. His vision is stranger than paradise, and his talent is odder than hell.
November 16, 1984

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