Stranger than Paradise is a bracingly original avant-garde black comedy. Begun as a short which was presented under the same title at some earlier festivals, film has been expanded in outstanding fashion by young New York writer-director Jim Jarmusch.
Simple narrative starts with self-styled New York hipster Willie (John Lurie) being paid a surprise, and quite unwelcome, visit by Hungarian cousin Eva (Eszter Balint). But when she finally leaves after 10 days, there seems to be a strange sort of affection between them.
Since plot doesn’t count for much here, the style takes over, and Jarmusch has made such matters as camera placement, composition (in stunning black-and-white) and structure count for a lot.