New York Times - 09/29/1984
"...Something quite special....One of the most original, wonderfully oddball, independent American films..."
New York Times - 12/30/1984
Included in The New York Times "10 BEST FILMS OF 1984"
Variety - 05/23/1984
"...STRANGER THAN PARADISE is a bracingly original avant-garde black comedy..."
Entertainment Weekly - 05/23/2003
"...PARADISE's offbeat economy is inspiring; it's composed of only 67 single gorgeous black-and-white shots..."
Premiere - 06/01/2004
"[A] Beckettesque anomie prevails....Beautifully shot in black and white..."
New York Times - 09/07/2007 3 stars out of 4 -- "[T]his multiple award winner is droll, fabulously shot...and winningly captures an aimless lifestyle..."
From director Jim Jarmusch (GHOST DOG, DEAD MAN) comes the story of two New York City friends (John Lurie and Richard Edson) who find their lives turned upside down when the attractive 16-year-old Hungarian cousin (Eszter Balint) of one of them pays a visit. What follows is a road trip first to Cleveland and then to Florida during which the trio lose their money but find their true identities. STRANGER THAN PARADISE is an example of independent filmmaking at its most inspired, vaulting Jarmusch to the top of the indie totem pole.
Beginning in New York City and ending up in Florida, Jim Jarmusch's STRANGER THAN PARADISE is a highly original comedy that has greatly influenced a new generation of filmmakers (most notably, Kevin Smith and Finland's Aki Kourismaki). Willie (John Lurie) is annoyed to learn that his younger cousin, Eva (Eszter Balint), is flying in from Hungary and plans on staying with him for ten days. When she arrives, she and Willie waste their days doing nothing. Eventually, Eva gets bored and leaves New York in order to visit her Aunt Lotte in Cleveland. When Willie and his friend Eddie (Richard Edson) get into trouble while cheating in a poker game, they decide to hit the road and track down Eva. Cleveland is even less exciting than New York, so the trio decide to take the plunge and journey to Florida, where they dream of winning an enormous amount at the track. Unfortunately, the reverse occurs, forcing them to confront the gravity of their situation head-on. Jarmusch fuses his love of European cinema with a New York hipness to create one of the decade's most influential films. Photographed in a static black and white by Tom Di Cillo (director of JOHNNY SUEDE and LIVING IN OBLIVION), STRANGER THAN PARADISE features comically understated performances by its three leads--who are all professional musicians.