It bears repeating, there’s something poetic that Paterson is a film about a guy of that name living in Paterson, New Jersey, a bus driver who is played by Adam Driver. The rhythmic echoes may be coincidental, but they’re no less enjoyable, kind of couplet that serves as a reminder of the delight that is Jim Jarmusch’s latest feature.
This is a film about contrasts, again rhyming one of the visual motifs of the film in the form of the black-and-white obsession exhibited by Paterson’s wife Laura (played with grace and humour by Golshifteh Farahani). In terms of narrative it’s relatively slight – bus driver who writes poetry, doesn’t come to terms with the need to back-up his works, walks his dog to the bar to relax and interact with his fellow patrons – yet in these quiet moments there’s a wonderful world created.
Jarmusch of course has long been doing this sort of magic trick, making the banal feel important, finding in simplicity a kind of symphonic beauty. Whether it’s his punk, indie ethos or his own adoration of the concision of poetry his films have always felt finely honed, introspective and profound without devolving into portentousness or polemicism. There are delightful, deft touches of story, including the incorporation of Driver’s own unique story (the Julliard trained, soft spoken man who served as a Marine before becoming an actor), showcasing someone who appears passive but can, only when required, be present and powerful, yet seemingly has the wisdom to avoid tumult when something painful yet not critical transpires.
Paterson is yet another gem from Jarmusch, a treasure of the American Indie world and a filmmaker whose voice continues to ring out in warm and wonderful ways.
Monday Sept. 12, 3:15pm @ Ryerson
Wednesday Sept. 14, 9:00am @ TIFF Bell Lightbox 2