|Adam Driver as Paterson|
No police sirens in "Paterson". No guns blazing or inspired detectives spotting murder clues. Nobody from the glitterati, no fast cars screeching round corners. No. This is a quiet and beautifully crafted film about ordinary lives. Not much happens in it and yet I found it curiously engaging.
Jim Jamusch directed it, lovingly and meticulously, and he recently said this of "Paterson"; “Life isn’t dramatic, always. This is about the day-to-day. It was less intentionally an antidote to all this action, violence, abuse of women, conflict between people, but I’m sure that’s part of it. We need other kinds of films. With my films, my hope is that you don’t care too much about the plot. I’m trying to find a Zen way where you are just there each moment and you’re not thinking too much about what’s going to happen next.”
|Golshifteh Farahani as Laura|
In "Paterson", twins appear on several random occasions without comment. They are just there, part of the town's scenery. The central character is a bus driver co-incidentally called Paterson like the New Jersey town that provides the film's setting. Every day he gets up early leaving his wife Laura dreaming in bed, except on Saturday when she is up early, manically decorating cupcakes to sell at the local farmers' market. She has various dreams of fame and fortune and artistic leanings that are always black and white in colour. Perhaps she is a little crazy but she loves Paterson all the same.
In four or five brief moments, the camera focuses on a framed photograph of Paterson in a previous life - in his US Marines uniform but no mention is made of that experience or how it might have affected him. It is just there - slightly tantalising but deliberately untapped Then there's the pet bulldog, Marvin. When left in the house one evening he chews up Paterson's notebook of poems. The lines often came to him while bus driving and making poetry was obviously his biggest aspiration in a town that was once home to the great American poet William Carlos Williams.
There is humour in "Paterson" and there is a sense of how life trundles on for most of us - unexceptional, undramatic and ordinary. Jamusch was right - we do need other kinds of films and for me, "Paterson" was a sweet and rather lovely film - at times melancholic and meaningless. By the end you feel you have got to know both of the Patersons quite intimately - the east coast town and the bus driver.who traverses it.
|Marvin the English bulldog in "Paterson"|