Stranger than Paradise
So I went to the movies last week. Went to see a film called Stranger than Paradise by Jim Jarmusch, which happens to be his first feature film. Right now, I´m just kind of writing to you across this space, listening to some new music I picked up, dealing with a small dose of bad news, and trying to cope with Stranger than Paradise.
Personally, I really like Stranger than Paradise. What I find really hard to deal with is the absolute coolness of this film. I´ve been averse to hipness for a long time now, though at various points of my life you might have called me hip, though that may be wishful thinking (didn´t I just say I was averse to hip?). Well, hip is one of the top ten new words of the last century, so how about that?
So how do we deal with a film that is so hip, if hipness is not part of our criteria?
What is remarkable about Jarmusch´s film is, similar to what I creatively said in my post on Two Lane Blacktop, the sense of enormous space he gives you and the accurate visual portrayal of the United States of America. Yes, folks, that is pretty much what it looks like (while Eddie remarks that it´s incredible that you can travel to a completely different place and it will look eerily familiar…).
That new music I picked up, you know the one I mentioned above, it´s changing my analysis as I speak. These smooth 70´s beats are making me feel like, well, how bout a cool motherfucker? And I just realized that I´m a cool motherfucker writing about a great motherfuckin´film, though they never say the word motherfucker in Jarmusch´s film.
The film starts with jet planes. I, for one, love jet planes, and within this sense of space, the going nowhere sense of the film, the lack of promise & future, the incredible sense of real-time (each scene is composed of a single shot that does not cut the diegesis into pieces, consequently offering a nearly absent narrator), we have them coming and going.
The world of people is so much bigger than Willie, Eddie, & Eva. While they are wandering hipsters experiencing firsthand the American wasteland, there are jet planes going to and fro. The only time Willie, Eddie, & Eva join the big world is when they fly. Driving doesn´t count - not when you´re listing to Screamin´ Jay on your mini tape player.
You can see a poor review by Roger Ebert here. It just sucks. I realize that if I say too much, I´ll lose my hipness, and therefore my credibility. Damnit. Let´s go see some kung fu. We can´t talk to much on this one.