As a belated birthday tribute to Jim Jarmusch, who turned 60 on January 22nd, we present a rare 35mm screening of STRANGER THAN PARADISE (1984), the film that launched him as a new American voice.
STRANGER THAN PARADISE plays on Monday, Feb. 11th, 7:30 PM, as part of our Music Monday series!
While Music Monday primarily features narrative musicals, concerts on film, or documentaries exploring the history of rock music, STRANGER THAN PARADISE is in a category all its own: the film which is not directly about music, and yet for which music is essential. From the throaty wail of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You," this extraordinary American indepedent film -- in many ways the catalyst for a generation of young, hip, DIY filmmakers to make their impact on the world of filmmaking -- takes hold of its viewer and powerfully expresses the sheer gargantuan nature of New York City. Aside from Hawkins' own voodoo melody, STRANGER THAN PARADISE features a one-of-a-kind score by composer and lead actor John Lurie. Lurie's score runs the gamut from beautiful orchestral string pieces to jaunty, contrapuntal car-ride anthems, all of which contribute to a tableau of what young life is like in the big city.
A minimalist masterpiece, STRANGER THAN PARADISE is spare out of necessity. Made for $90,000, Jarmusch and his soon-to-be-famous friends (Jarmusch, his then-girlfriend Sara Driver, and John Lurie) successfully created a feature film within their means as East Village hipsters that then took the international film festival circuit by storm. Winning the Special Jury Prize at Sundance, the Golden Lion at Locarno, and the prestigious Camera d’Or, awarded for best first theatrically-distributed feature film, STRANGER THAN PARADISE was unquestionably the standout American independent release of its year.
Since then, Jarmusch has directed ten features including NIGHT ON EARTH, MYSTERY TRAIN, and DEAD MAN; a handful of short films, and is currently at work on another feature, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE. Join us as we celebrate the point where it all begin, where Jarmusch's legacy as an American independent filmmaker with a unique, unmatched voice was born: STRANGER THAN PARADISE plays at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz on Monday, Feb. 11th at 7:30 PM! Tickets are on sale and available now! (Sam Prime)