Stranger Than Paradise

Stranger Than Paradise

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Running Time: 89 minutes


The Nightlight Cinema Film Society is proud to present Jim Jarmusch's classic hipster comedy, Stranger Than Paradise this January 27th for one night only in our Lounge 237 area screening on our new 135" screen! Only 25 tickets available for this event.

"You know, it's funny... you come to someplace new, an'... and everything looks just the same."

Stranger Than Paradise is filmed in a series of uninterrupted shots; the picture fades in, we watch the scene, and when the scene is over, there's a fade to black. Then comes the next fade-in. This is not a gimmick, but a visual equivalent of the film's deadpan characters, who take a lot to get excited.

The movie's hero is Willie (John Lurie), who arrived on these shores from Hungary about ten years ago, and has spent the intervening decade perfecting his New York accent and trying to make nothing out of himself. He lives in an apartment where the linoleum is the highlight. On a good day, he'll sleep late, hang out, play a little poker.

Stranger Than Paradise is a treasure from one end to the other. I saw it for the first time at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, where it was having its first public showing. Half the people in the theater probably didn't speak English, but that didn't stop them from giving the movie a standing ovation, and it eventually won the Camera d'Or prize for the best first film.

It is like no other film you've seen, and yet you feel right at home in it. It seems to be going nowhere, and knows every step it wants to make. It is a constant, almost kaleidoscopic experience of discovery, and we try to figure out what the film is up to and it just keeps moving steadfastly ahead, fade in, fade out, fade in, fade out, making a mountain out of a molehill.

~~ Roger Ebert, rogerebert.com