“…the effect is disorienting until you recognize what Mr. Jarmusch is up to - that is, discovering the ludicrously sublime in the supremely tacky….''Stranger Than Paradise'' is a ''Marty'' that Jean-Paul Sartre might have appreciated, about hanging out, not in hell but in a permanent purgatory. This world sometimes looks like an eerily underpopulated New York City, a rundown but genteel working- class section of Cleveland or that scrubby part of the east coast of Florida that has yet to be transformed into a vacation paradise, where the motels always have vacancies, even at the height of the season, and where the swimming pools are filled with weeds, not water.” – The New York Times
An article in Cutlure Cartel discusses how according to Mulvey there are 2 narratives in cinema: masculine and feminine. Masculine oriented films gradually build a climax and find a fast resolution, whereas feminine films will be more circular and open ended. Jarmusch; on the other hand has introduced a more gender neutral, less sexist, racists narrative in his works.
“Stranger than Paradise merges American and Hungarian culture in a way that doesn't make overt statements about multiculturalism so much as it presents scenarios and lets them work out their own conclusion. sometimes not much more than letting Aunt Lotte serve goulash. Yet what makes Stranger than Paradise such a joyful postmodern romp is not its alternative narrative or its multicultural tendencies. Stranger than Paradise is groundbreakingly alternative in its skeletal formalism.
Jarmusch constructs an
Here are also a few other interesting reviews:
“Boredom and loneliness are ever-present in this
“Here, characters not talking reflect a broader failure of communication, characters sitting around doing nothing reflect a more general lack of direction, and characters replaying the same scenes in different milieux reflect an inability to escape the rigidity of their own personalities. This is a film about narrow-mindedness, folly and a lack of initiative (in the
Willie may lecture Eva on the 'American' way to eat, speak and behave, but while he is a single, work-shy loser with no ambition and few prospects, she is a resourceful, driven winner, quick to acquire a job and a boyfriend (Danny Rosen). In other words, she embraces the American Dream far more than her cousin ever will, and while the film's twist ending may at first seem merely an ironic gag that has come out of nowhere, in fact it crystallises the difference between this odd couple: Eva is open enough to seize the opportunities serendipity offers and to make a new life in the new world, while aimless Willie is in fact always going backwards.