Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Stranger Than Paradise


Jim Jarmusch is a weird filmmaker, and I mean that in the best possible way. Right now he’s got a film in theaters, Broken Flowers, which we haven’t seen yet but it’s getting very good reviews. Lee and I loved his series of little vignettes, Coffee and Cigarettes. This is very much in the same vein, but much earlier, his third film. There’s not a lot I can say about it. The people are not very interesting, the settings are drab, the story is almost catatonic, except for a funny little twist at the end. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Yet it all works. It’s not a comedy, it’s not a drama, it’s just a series of observations and no judgements. I realized as I watched it that if it had been in color I probably would have hated it. Isn’t that odd? But the washed-out overexposures, the tawdriness, the squalor just turn into some kind of magic. Not for everybody, but it’s short. Give it a try.