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Les Variations Jarmusch

Esther Heboyan

Partie V. Cadences jarmuschiennes sur l’échiquier de l’espace-temps / Jarmuschian cadences on the chessboard of time and space

Vagabondage from Budapest to Florida – Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger than Paradise

Sylvie Blum-Reid

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“America is made up of foreigners, and there are
indigenous people that lived here for thousands
of years, but then white Europeans tried
to commit genocide against them all.
I’m a mongrel, I have Irish blood, Bohemian blood,
some German blood, and all of America is a cultural
mixture, and although America is very much in denial
of this, that’s really what America is.”
Jim Jarmusch, Some Notes on Stranger than Paradise, 1984

Jarmusch shot Stranger than Paradise as if he was an Eastern European filmmaker. Once trying to explain Stranger than Paradise he claimed that he could only do so stylistically and came up with the following line:

A semi neo-realist black comedy in the style of an imaginary Eastern European film director obsessed with Ozu and familiar with the 1950s American TV show The Honeymooners.

It is widely understood that Stranger than Paradise is “A story about America as seen through the eyes of ‘strangers’.” Looking at the United States through a foreigner’s eyes, Jarmusch’s ambi...


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