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FilmStubs: Stranger Than Paradise (1984)

A New Yorker's life is thrown into a tailspin when his younger cousin surprise-visits him, starting a strange, unpredictable adventure. (R, 89 min.)


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

7:00 PM

The FilmStubs series is Free and made possible by a grant from Friends of the Library.
For more Springfield-Greene County Library events click here. There will be a discussion following the film.
Tickets will be available the day of the screening at concessions.
**Masks are required**

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. [Criterion]

Starring: John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Genre(s): Comedy, Drama
A thorough, spoiler-filled content guide can be found here.

Watch Trailer

"And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack / And you may find yourself in another part of the world / And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile / Same as it ever was, same as it ever was."

— Adam Kempenaar, Filmspotting

"Daring in its conception but made with a watchmaker's care, 'Stranger Than Paradise' is a playfully eclectic, formally perfect gem. It is also a persistently funny film that owes as much to "The Honeymooners" as it does to the avant-garde."

— Paul Attanasio, Washington Post

"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, Chicago Sun-Times

"Jim Jarmusch’s breakthrough film Stranger Than Paradise — famously described by its director as a neo-realistic black comedy in the style of an imaginary Eastern European director obsessed with Ozu and The Honeymooners — captures something essential about the American character: the contradictory desire to be anonymous and to be identified, to blend into the crowd and yet still stand out."

— Vikram Murthi, IndieWire