Review: Paterson

I can admit to you, gentle reader, that I avoided seeing Paterson for a bit. I can also admit that it worried me that this lovely Jim Jarmusch film might both depress and inspire me – as great writing and storytelling can only do to/for other writers. Now that’s it’s streaming on Amazon Prime (as of today), I went ahead and took the plunge. My prediction was spot. freakin. on. So here goes…

With Paterson, Jarmusch reveals to us a peaceful film filled with the perfect mundanity and subtle beauty of everyday life – the early alarm, the caress of a lover in the first light of day, packed lunches, traveling the same routes – the basic routine quotidian moments of what seems like nothing on the way to what we think of as everything. Paired with this ordinary is the extraordinary poetry of our main character (bus driver and writer) that he writes before leaving for his bus route, eating those packed lunches and in his private basement cubby. It is as if a William Carlos Williams poem transfigured itself into a film. A very good one that sneaks in and eats the plums from the ice box.

Really, really short review: If you are a fan of William Carlos Williams’ imagist poetry or Jim Jarmusch‘s brand of doc-inspired filmmaking, Paterson is not to be missed.


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