John Lurie

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Stranger Than Paradise Review


Excellent
Jim Jarmusch's debut feature Stranger Than Paradise seems both a throwback to the American independents of the '60s and '70s, and a harbinger of what was to come in the years following its release. The film stands as a link between the past and the future, a synthesis of the Cassavetes-Scorsese brand of streetwise naturalism, and the aloofness and wry humor that characterizes much of modern independent cinema (Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater's output, in particular).

At once artless and artful, dramatically unfocused yet layered throughout with unmistakable observations about mid-'80s American melancholia, Stranger Than Paradise displays all the strengths and weaknesses of Jarmusch's brand of cinema. While experiencing his stories, the viewer may suspect that, beneath the patina of captivating movie moments, the director has nothing particularly to say about, well, anything, but is simply creating images because he feels like it, and stringing them together with vintage jazz, rock, and world music selections. Just short of expressing any sense of purpose or point of view, at least conventionally speaking, a Jarmusch movie will peter out. The characters do not advance much, though each will have embarked on journeys, and shared moments of wry hilarity. But, spiritually, they remain near or exactly where they began.

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Down By Law Review


Excellent
American independent director Jim Jarmusch leaped onto the world cinema stage with the idiosyncratic deadpan road movie Stranger than Paradise in 1984 and then followed it up with the equally distinctive prison break movie Down by Law in 1986.

Down by Law became an immediate cult hit partly because of its pokey humor style but also because it starred musicians Tom Waits and John Lurie along side upstart Italian comedian Roberto Benigni - who is so over-the-top he really revs up the film's expressionless tempo.

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Stranger Than Paradise Movie Review

Stranger Than Paradise Movie Review

Jim Jarmusch's debut feature Stranger Than Paradise seems both a throwback to the American independents...

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