Stranger Than Paradise|
Starring John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson... View more >
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|by Edward Terkelsen ||Jan 25, 2000|
I can't abide the self-conscious minimalism of Jim Jarmusch's "Stranger Than Paradise". Each scene is lensed (in the customary grainy, black and white 16mm film stock that pretentious art house devotees seem to favor) as a static, uninterrupted shot, each isolated by a seemingly endless fade to black. The film's aesthetic conceit is maddeningly repetitive and it constantly draws attention to itself. I was bored blind by the film's bland assortment of deadpan characters and precious few I suspect will find the story all that involving. Middle-brow movie reviewers on the order of Roger Ebert eat this slop up because they think it's somewhat audacious for a film to dispense with conventional editing rythms, and, hey, they must be in touch with the director's idiosyncratic approach if they manage not to fall asleep. I pray, gentle reader, that you don't fall for this empty artiness. "Stranger Than Paradise" is a meandering bore, a film with absolutely no pulse. Warhol's "Empire State" had more thrills in it.