Stranger Than Paradise

Jim Jarmusch, USA 1984, 90’
Permanent Vacation Down by Law

This Jarmusch film has a cult following, and many consider it one of the greatest cinematic portraits of outsiders. It is about boredom, alienation, drifting through life, and even a paean to passivity. After all, the characters fail when they come under the illusion that life and cinema require twists and turns. Stranger Than Paradise is a road movie featuring a sixteen-year-old Hungarian immigrant Eva (violinist and songwriter, Eszter Balint), her cousin Willie (John Lurie) and his friend Eddie (Richard Edson). After a short New York stint, Eva travels to see her aunt in Cleveland, while Willie and Eddie follow in her footsteps a year later for lack of better opportunities. They’ve stowed away some race -track winnings, but since wintery Cleveland has no fun to offer, the trio head to Florida. That's where things go south. Jarmusch shows marginalized people without forcefully dramatizing their stories. Their lives are governed by fortune and therefore everything that is important (according to the classical rules of dramaturgy) happens in this film for no reason. The minimalist action is accompanied by the music of John Lurie. One of Jarmusch's favorite songs, Screamin' Jay Hawkins' I Put a Spell on You also resounds in the film.

Małgorzata Sadowska


Cannes FF 1984 - Golden Camera; Faro Island FF 1984 - Jury Prize; Grand Prix de l'UCC 1986; Kinema Junpo Awards 1987 - Best Foreign Language Film; Locarno IFF 1984 - Golden Leopard, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury - Special Mention; Sundance FF 1985 - Special Jury Recognition (Dramatic)

Jim Jarmusch

Jim Jarmusch was born in 1953 in Akron, Ohio, and is one of the most important figures of in the history of independent cinema. Jarmusch studied at New York University Film School and Cinémathèque Française. His mentor was Nicholas Ray (director of Rebel Without a Cause), for whom Jarmusch also worked as assistant director. Thanks to the success of his first films, especially Stranger Than Paradise (1984), which won the Golden Camera at Cannes, Jarmusch came to symbolize a new generation of independent American cinema and became a critics' darling. The combination of his specific sense of humor and oft-used static scenes is so characteristic that the term Jarmuschian is understood throughout the world today. Laureate of, among others, Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for a short film (Coffee and Cigarettes III, 1993) and winner of numerous other awards.


1980 Nieustające wakacje / Permanent Vacation

1984 Inaczej niż w raju / Stranger Than Paradise

1986 Poza prawem / Down by Law

1991 Noc na Ziemi / Night on Earth

1995 Truposz / Dead Man

1999 Ghost Dog: Droga samuraja / Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

2003 Kawa i papierosy / Coffee and Cigarettes

2005 Broken Flowers

2009 The Limits of Control

2013 Tylko kochankowie przeżyją / Only Lovers Left Alive

2016 Paterson

2016 Gimme Danger (doc.)

2019 Truposze nie umierają / The Dead Don’t Die

Cast & Crew

director Jim Jarmusch
screenplay Jim Jarmusch
cinematography Tom DiCillo
editing Jim Jarmusch, Melody London
music John Lurie
cast John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson, Cecillia Stark, Danny Rosen, Rammellzee, Tom DiCillo, Richard Boes, Sara Driver
producer Sara Driver, Otto Grockenberger
production Sara Driver, A. Cinesthesia-Grockenberger Film Production
language English
coloration b&w
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