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Stranger Than Paradise (The Criterion Collection) [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 118 ratings
IMDb7.4/10.0

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DVD
September 3, 2007
Criterion Collection
2
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Genre Comedy
Format Multiple Formats, NTSC, Black & White, Anamorphic, Mono, Digital Sound
Contributor Eszter Balint, Jim Jarmusch, John Lurie, Richard Edson
Language English
Runtime 1 hour and 29 minutes
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  • Stranger Than Paradise (The Criterion Collection) [DVD]
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Product Description

Product Description

From director Jim Jarmusch (GHOST DOG, DEAD MAN) comes the story of two New York City friends (John Lurie and Richard Edson) who find their lives turned upside down when the attractive 16-year-old Hungarian cousin (Eszter Balint) of one of them pays a visit. What follows is a road trip first to Cleveland and then to Florida during which the trio lose their money but find their true identities. STRANGER THAN PARADISE is an example of independent filmmaking at it's most inspired, vaulting Jarmusch to the top of the indie totem pole. Director Jim Jarmusch Star Richard Edson, John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Cecilla Stark Special Features: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85 Audio: Dolby Digital Mono 1.0 - English Additional Release Materials: Behind the Scenes Featurettes - "Kino '84: Jim Jarmusch" Short Film - PERMANENT VACATION (1980) Trailers - Original U.S & Japanese Theatrical Trailers Text/Photo Galleries: Photos - On-Set Runtime: 89 minutes Year of Release: 1984.

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Back in the excess-is-best 1980s, the pared-down minimalism of 1984's Stranger than Paradise played like the product of another time--or even another planet. It was so "off," i.e. offbeat and off-kilter, it was (right) on. Now seen as a classic of American independent cinema, it compares favorably to other monochromatic first features, like Border Radio and Mala Noche (also lovingly restored by the movie mavens at the Criterion Collection). The acclaim was justified--except it wasn't Jarmusch's first film. That honor belongs to 1980's Permanent Vacation, making its long-awaited digital debut on this two-disc set. Shot by Tom DiCillo, Jarmusch's initial offering revolves around the name Parker: Chris Parker is Aloysious Parker, a ducktailed New Yorker with a jones for Charlie Parker. Allie's a drifter and a dime-store philosopher. "That's how thing work for me," he drawls in voice-over, "I go from this place, this person, to that place or person." And so he does. Fresh from NYU, where he assisted Nicholas Ray, Jarmusch displays an innate talent for framing and dialogue (Allie lives for "vibrating, bugged-out sound"). His touch with actors--Frankie Faison's raconteur aside--is less assured, but he learned quickly. Lounge Lizard John Lurie cameos as a sax player. DiCillo returns for Stranger than Paradise, in which he and Jarmusch trade color for black and white stock (donated by Wim Wenders). In this "semi-neorealist black comedy," as the filmmaker puts it in the production notes (included with this set), Hungarian teenager Eva (Eszter Balint) arrives in New York ("The New World") to stay with her cousin, Willie (Lurie). A drifter, like Allie, she continues on to Cleveland ("One Year Later") and Florida ("Paradise"). With nothing better to do, Willie and Eddie (Richard Edson) tag along. As opposed to the rapid-fire cutting of the day, Jarmusch uses static shots divided by black screen. He may have taken cues from Ozu and The Honeymooners--dig those porkpie hats--but the end product couldn’t be more idiosyncratic.

This director-approved double-feature comes complete with a German TV documentary (Kino '84: Jim Jarmusch), behind-the-scenes footage, US and Japanese trailers, and a 44-page booklet with essays by J. Hoberman and Luc Sante. Just as Stranger than Paradise stands as one of the defining films of the 1980s, this special edition represents one of the most essential DVD releases of the 2000s. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product details

  • Aspect Ratio ‏ : ‎ 1.78:1
  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ No
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 0.7 x 7.5 x 5.4 inches; 5.6 Ounces
  • Item model number ‏ : ‎ CC1695DDVD
  • Director ‏ : ‎ Jim Jarmusch
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Multiple Formats, NTSC, Black & White, Anamorphic, Mono, Digital Sound
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 29 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ September 3, 2007
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson
  • Language ‏ : ‎ Unqualified
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Criterion Collection
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B000SFJ4HW
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 2
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 118 ratings

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
118 global ratings

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