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Critic’s Choice: The wistful poetry of Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Stranger Than Paradise’

A melancholy deadpan comedy about three people wandering an eternal Nowheresville, U.S.A. (whether they’re in New York, Cleveland or Miami), “Stranger Than Paradise” is not, technically speaking, Jarmusch’s debut feature. The Criterion Collection’s latest edition of the movie, presented in a digital restoration supervised by Jarmusch himself, also includes “Permanent Vacation,” the 75-minute film he shot as a university student in 1980. Together these two pictures announced their director as a true original, a reputation that hasn’t faltered since.