Tag: Stranger Than Paradise

Could any filmmaker be more associated with the New York punk scene than Jim Jarmusch? At the turn of the 1980s, he seemed ubiquitous on the Lower East Side—playing keyboards with the Del-Byzanteens; making the scene at Danceteria and the Mudd Club with fellow travelers like Basquiat and Keith Haring; and directing a pair of indelible features, PERMANENT VACATION and STRANGER THAN PARADISE. Jarmusch’s early work shares with its musical peers an off-kilter sense of timelessness and an honest depiction of New York City as a seedy enclave. You have to squint at the details that mark these films as contemporary with the early ‘80s, but the characters’ ennui and melancholy, their lived-in apartments and beat-up cars, and the apocalyptic milieu that enveloped them made these films seem as eternally stylish as your favorite Blondie deep cut.