Monday, February 27, 2017

PATERSON 2/27/17

 Saw PATERSON - a Jim Jarmusch film that is unbelievably tender with a light delicate touch - the dialogue is minimal as we observe a week in the life of a New Jersey  Transit bus-driver who happens to be a poet named Paterson (Adam Driver), living in Paterson, NJ - the home of his idol the great poet, William Carlos Williams, He resides with his beautiful, dreamily eccentric wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), who spends her days painting curvy black and white lines on everything in their home - her clothes, the shower curtains, the walls, etc. fantasizing about being a great country singer OR owning a cupcake shop OR learning to play the guitar…envisioning is indistinguishable from attainment.  Marvin the bulldog is another character in this quiet film, protective and possessive of Laura, and jealous of Paterson - a presence hard to ignore, but an indispensable addition to the coziness of their contented existence.

 Only a special audience could appreciate the subtle and leisurely pace of PATERSON. The day begins at approximately 6:15 AM waking up, nestled against his wife, still in a hypnogogic state as Adam Driver’s large frame gets up from the warmth of the rumpled bed, sliding his watch on his arm, and silently leaves their bedroom going into the kitchen for breakfast - the same daily cup of Cheerios and begins to write while eating - inspired  by the beauty of occasionally glimpsed objects; memory intrudes and what is usually unseen becomes visible through words strung together with stunning  simplicity and filled with magic and color.

Days are routinized and drama is in the ordinariness of life occasionally disrupted by the drifting of conversations heard as he drives the bus, the history of Paterson revealed by young 21st century “anarchists,” two men giving advice on how to connect  with the opposite sex; eating lunch on a bench at the foot of the majestic Great Falls, and every night after work Paterson, while walking Marvin stops at a neighborhood bar for a glass of beer, the dog waiting patiently outside. Phrases are eternally floating about in Paterson’s head and written into his “secret notebook” whenever he gets a moment to write. The simple pleasures of life, a box of wooden matches, looking down into a glass where the translucent color of a drink, all have the potential to be transformative.

A disciplined life without excess melodrama can be very conducive to the unfolding of an artist’s interior perceptions. But interruptions in one’s ordered life are inevitable; small shards of chance - such as Paterson’s touching encounter with a Japanese poet - alter the compass of this poet’s orientation and therein lies the lyricism of this lovely film. 

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