Jim Jarmusch

Stranger Than Paradise

Stranger Than Paradise

With this breakout film, Jim Jarmusch established himself as one of the most exciting voices in the burgeoning independent-film scene, a road-movie poet with an affinity for Americana at its most offbeat. Jarmusch follows rootless Hungarian émigré Willie (John Lurie), his pal Eddie (Richard Edson), and his visiting sixteen-year-old cousin, Eva (Eszter Balint), as they drift from New York’s Lower East Side to the snowy expanses of Lake Erie and the drab beaches of Florida, always managing to make the least of wherever they end up. Structured as a series of master-shot vignettes etched in black and white by cinematographer Tom DiCillo, Stranger Than Paradise is a nonchalant masterpiece of deadpan comedy and perfectly calibrated minimalism.

Film Info

  • Jim Jarmusch
  • United States
  • 1984
  • 89 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.78:1
  • English
  • Spine #400

Director-Approved Special Edition Features

  • High-definition digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Jim Jarmusch, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1996 featuring Jarmusch and actor Richard Edson
  • Permanent Vacation (1980), Jarmusch’s seventy-five-minute, color feature debut, presented in a high-definition digital restoration supervised by the director
  • Kino ’84: Jim Jarmusch, a 1984 German television program ­featuring interviews with cast and crew members from Stranger Than Paradise and Permanent Vacation
  • Some Days in January 1984, a behind-the-scenes Super 8 film by Tom Jarmusch
  • U.S. and Japanese trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring Jarmusch’s 1984 “Some Notes on Stranger Than Paradise,” critics Geoff Andrew and J. Hoberman on Stranger Than Paradise, and author and critic Luc Sante on Permanent Vacation

Cover by Eric Skillman

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • High-definition digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Jim Jarmusch, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1996 featuring Jarmusch and actor Richard Edson
  • Permanent Vacation (1980), Jarmusch’s seventy-five-minute, color feature debut, presented in a high-definition digital restoration supervised by the director
  • Kino ’84: Jim Jarmusch, a 1984 German television program ­featuring interviews with cast and crew members from Stranger Than Paradise and Permanent Vacation
  • Some Days in January 1984, a behind-the-scenes Super 8 film by Tom Jarmusch
  • U.S. and Japanese trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring Jarmusch’s 1984 “Some Notes on Stranger Than Paradise,” critics Geoff Andrew and J. Hoberman on Stranger Than Paradise, and author and critic Luc Sante on Permanent Vacation

Cover by Eric Skillman

Stranger Than Paradise
Cast
John Lurie
Willie
Eszter Balint
Eva
Richard Edson
Eddie
Cecillia Stark
Aunt Lotte
Danny Rosen
Billy
Rammellzee
Man with money
Tom DiCillo
Airline agent
Richard Boes
Factory worker
Rockets Redglare, Harvey Perr, Brian J. Burchill
Poker players
Sara Driver
Girl with hat
Paul Sloane
Motel owner
Credits
Director
Jim Jarmusch
Written by
Jim Jarmusch
Producer
Sara Driver
Production manager
Sara Driver
Executive producer
Otto Grokenberger
Director of photography
Tom DiCillo
Music by
John Lurie
Edited by
Jim Jarmusch
Edited by
Melody London
Sound
Greg Curry
Sound
Drew Kunin
Part 1 (“The New World”) from an idea by
Jim Jarmusch
Part 1 (“The New World”) from an idea by
John Lurie

From The Current

Ask Jim Jarmusch
Ask Jim Jarmusch

Our popular Q&A series with director Jim Jarmusch is back!

Stranger Than Paradise: Enter Jarmusch
Stranger Than Paradise: Enter Jarmusch
It was not just that its characters were to some extent “strangers in a strange land”; you could also imagine their creator echoing a famous line—“I’m a stranger here myself”—spoken by the titular hero of Johnny Guitar (1954),…

By Geoff Andrew

A Special Announcement from Jim Jarmusch
A Special Announcement from Jim Jarmusch

Stranger Than Paradise is coming back to theaters stranger than ever! Get a taste of what this indie landmark looks like in the form its director originally intended.

A Visit from National Society of Film Critics Cofounder Joe Morgenstern
A Visit from National Society of Film Critics Cofounder Joe Morgenstern
Since its inception more than a half-century ago, the National Society of Film Critics has maintained its reputation for championing idiosyncratic and independent voices during the commercially driven awards season, with past best picture awards goin…

By Hillary Weston

Jarmusch in Tucson

Repertory Picks

Jarmusch in Tucson

The Loft Cinema kicks off a monthlong Jim Jarmusch retrospective with a screening of the director’s 1984 sophomore feature, Stranger Than Paradise.

Paul Feig’s Top 10
Paradise  Regained
Paradise Regained
Structurally, the movie is a tour de force—a succession of brief vignettes punctuated by opaque film stock. There are no reverse angles, no point-of-view shots; each scene is a single take. Characters enter the frame as though it were a stage, and …

By J. Hoberman