Stranger Than Paradise #MovieReview

Film 298 in the ‘1001 Films to See Before You Die’ challenge is 1984’s “Stranger Than Paradise”. Directed by Jim Jarmusch, this absurdist/deadpan comedy drama has a minimalist plot which the main character, Willie (jazz musician John Lurie), has a cousin from Hungary, Eva (Eszter Balint), who stays with him for 10 days before going to Cleveland. This film also stars former Sonic Youth drummer-turned-actor Richard Edson as Eddie. So then…. this film…. um…. yeah…. Where do I start? First of all, the acting in this film is terrible. This is “The Room” levels of bad acting. It’s as if they had just read the script and Jarmusch accidentally filmed their rehearsals rather than the actual take. If the best actor in this film is John Madden commentating on an NFL game and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins playing throughout then you know you’ve got a problem. Second, the characters. Willie brags about being a hipster which already makes him hated. All he was missing was a guitar and some weed. Don’t think it helps that I had just watched the South Park episode about hippies prior to seeing this. Eva is just boring and dull to watch and Eddie… well he was there. I managed 23 minutes before I started to fall asleep. When this film was released in 1984, Jim Jamusch had this to say about the film, “It’s easier to talk about the style of the film than ‘what’s it’s about.'” Fun Fact of the Film – Jarmusch used “lighting, filration and composition of shots” to make all the locations look similar. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1984’s “Stranger Than Paradise”

Film – Stranger Than Paradise
Year – 1984
Director – Jim Jarmusch
Written by – Jim Jarmusch
Staring – John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson
IMDb Rating – 7.6/10
My Rating – ZZZZZzzzzzz
Length – 85 min (1h 25min)
Genre – Comedy, Drama

Better wait for my lover at the end of the runway… Or you could just leave

This man is racist to Hungarians

“The New World” – Looks just like the old one

How to fit in living in New York – Blast Screamin’ Jay Hawkins through a radio

Overalls? Check. Stupid hat? Check? – We got us a hipster

Wait… If she’s moving from Hungary when why did she only bring one suitcase and shopping?


So…. Willie doesn’t have a living room? Just a bedroom, a kitchen and a toilet

You must really be out if you can’t hear that phone ringing

Who’s Corgi? Ah, who cares. Back to sleep

Cue more bad acting

Thanks for explaining what a TV dinner is

Eddie arrives and is already trying to hit on Eva

You stay here while we go somewhere

Thanks for what American Football is

So far John Madden’s commentary is the best bit of this film

Whatever’s playing on TV defiantly doesn’t sound like a cartoon

If she’s moving from Hungary to America then why is she only wearing the same clothes?

Now for a lesson in how to use a vacuum cleaner (or as we call it ‘Hoover”)

Eva then admits she just stole from a shop

Also, if you’re going to steal from a shop then why would you steal a TV dinner

Time for more Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

So far John Madden’s commentary and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins are the best bits of this film

Willie doesn’t know good music when he hears it

Also, he just bought Eva a dress from a thrift shop



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