|Classic shot used in many Jarmusch films...|
|The subtle use of the color pink (and the positioning of the characters) in Paterson is very similar to Broken Flowers...|
Hopefully some of you will get this reference...
Paterson is Jim Jarmusch's Ned Rilfe in that Hal Hartley kind of returned to his classic form with Ned Rifle just like Jarmusch has done with his latest (I find it wonderful that after over three decades of filmmaking Hal Hartley & Jarmusch can still be mentioned together in the same sentence).
I wanted to post my thoughts on Paterson immediately after seeing it at Toronto but something kept me from sharing this right away. This is the kind of movie you want to sit on/with for a week or two partially because it's meant to challenge things like immediacy, rushing and just anything fast-paced. So it would be a little hypocritical for me to post some rushed 500-word review that doesn't offer much of a unique/worthy perspective.
I admit that when I first saw the trailer for Paterson I was a bit worried but my skepticism was put to rest early on in the film. 20 minutes in I knew I was going to enjoy this until the very end.
And for those of you that may be concerned that Jarmusch is stuck/set in his ways by referencing so many themes from his old work, he does try out new editing & sound techniques that he's never tried before (these new techniques really enhance the poetry featured in the movie). This is also his first film without any of his (new and/or old) stock actors (no Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jeffery Wright, Tom Waits, etc). And with the exception of Adam Driver and one unnamed cameo, the entire cast is made up of "unknowns" or seasoned veterans used to playing supporting roles).
Jarmusch does a great job at avoiding a lot of cliches. Any time you think something obvious is going to happen it doesn't. Nothing happens. Like...literally nothing. I respect that. At one point in the film we feel a potential threat against Paterson's dog but nothing ever happens (actually, this scene in particular is why I appreciate Jarmusch's subtle comments on race in that he takes a car full of "thuggishly" seeming characters of color and does something a lot of filmmakers wouldn't do). We expect there to be tension or drama between Paterson and his wife on more than one occassion but they get along just fine from beginning to end without any drama. You think there's going to be some accident while he's driving his bus but that doesn't happen either. Had the same material Jim Jarmusch used in Paterson ended up in another director's hands this would've been a kitchen sink melodrama about an angry tortured bus driver. That's not to say Paterson is all "light" & "fluffy", but there is a calmness throughout the story that isn't often associated with a lot of the basic subject mater in the film.
What I loved most about Paterson is that it's a movie for folks with talents/passions outside of their 9-5 jobs (Paterson gets a lot of his writing done during his lunch break/downtime at work, and when he is working his mind is on his poetry). This is definitely something I relate to on a personal level (over the last 6+ years of running this blog and writing for other websites, quite a bit of content was generated on my old job's company time).
I'm trying my best to not over-praise this (I am a Jarmusch fan/completist) but I can say, without any favoritism, that Patterson is a success and the best thing Jim Jarmusch has done since Broken Flowers.