Film Reviews, Short Review

Stranger than Paradise (1984)


A beautiful, poignant, and at times wickedly funny exploration of loneliness, Stranger than Paradise has the same hollowed-out, empty, alienated mood as some of Wim Wenders’ 70s films like Alice in the Cities and The American Friend, a mood I’m always very attracted to. We focus on three friends, though they may as well be strangers. Two of them are cousins and Hungarian expats (Eszter Balint and John Lurie), though they seem to be desperately trying to cast off their Hungarian identity as a way of fitting in, and the other, Eddie (Richard Edson) just seems like a nice, if hapless, guy. The one-scene one-take cinematography with each scene broken up by a blank screen creates an isolated, deadpan mood that is perfectly in tune with film’s inner sadness.


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