Posted Nov 25 2016

Paterson - This Movie Poetically Rocks

Dir: Jim Jarmusch

Starring Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley, William Jackson Harper

Driver is a driver named Paterson, in the small town of Paterson, New Jersey, a town famed for being the birth place of Lou Costello (he has a park named for him), Dave from Sam & Dave and for having been name-checked by Bob Dylan in his song about Ruben “Hurricane” Carter. Within this milieu, Jarmusch finds himself back in low-key quirky character studies.

Paterson’s life is one of routine, something that is both emphasised and repeated over the director’s seven day structure of the movie. He gets up every morning, eats the same breakfast every day, drives his bus all day, eavesdropping on the conversation of his passengers, briefly entering their world, before breaking for lunch and indulging his one creative activity – writing poetry whilst staring at a waterfall every lunchtime. In the evening he listens to the idle dreams of his girlfriend Laura (Farahani), who has a habit of constantly painting everything all in the hopes of finding her own form of personal expression, before Paterson takes the dog for a late night walk, always finding himself stopping in a local bar, where once again, he – and we – are privy to the minor details of the minor lives of people around him.

But Paterson is anything from boring. It’s a lilting, delicate look into these lives, punctuated by Paterson’s almost dream-like journeys in his bus. (Twins seem to crop up a good deal as well.) Despite the constant use of repeated moments in the daily grind, each day Jarmusch manages to reveal more about his characters and finds the poetic moments in their usual events that shift the balance of their lives. It’s quiet, understated, funny and moving in a way that only Jarmusch can be.



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