Wednesday 13th December: Paterson (15)

USA  –  Comedy,Drama,Romance  –  Year: 2016  –  Running time: 118 mins
Language: English, Italian

Synopsis:

A film about a man called Paterson, played admirably by Adam Driver, who works as a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey, and who writes poetry. Therefore there are associations with the epic poem ‘Paterson’ by the American ‘imagist’ poet William Carlos Williams. Just as wife Laura finally persuades him to publish his poems, disaster and disappointment occur, alleviated only when a mysterious Japanese man accosts him. A movie worthy of Jarmusch at his best.

Driver is turning out to be one of the finest actors of the moment, an understated star with a great, non-movie-star face.
Stephanie Zacharek (Time)

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) / Broken Flowers (2013) / Dead Man (1995)
Cast:
Adam Driver                                  …   Paterson
Golshifteh Farahani                       …   Laura
Rizwan Manji                                 …   Donny
Trevor Parham                               …   Sam
Troy T. Parham                              …   Dave
Brian McCarthy                              …   Jimmy
(for full cast, and more information, see “Paterson” in IMDB)

CFC Film Notes                                    (click here for printed version)

“An extraordinarily humane film about the creative process, told on the smallest scale possible.”

“Quiet, thoughtful and deeply human, this is one of Jarmusch’s finest and features Adam Driver’s best performance yet – although you do risk coming out with a new affection for modernist poetry.”

“Poems slip across the screen like water in ‘Paterson’ … wonderful new dispatch from Jarmusch-land.”

“… Jarmusch follows his own river to create his own cinematic poem, but he is scrupulously faithful to Williams’s most famous tenet: ‘No ideas but in things’.”

The critics loved this film, so here is its inspiration: by one of the principal poets of the Imagist movement. ‘Paterson’ is a long, epic poem written over many years in several volumes, but began life as a short poem written in 1926:

Details for Paterson – by William Carlos Williams, 1883-1963

I just saw two boys.
One of them gets paid for distributing circulars
and he throws it down the sewer.

I said, Are you a Boy Scout?
He said, no.
The other one was.
I have implicit faith in the Boy Scouts

If you talk about it
long enough
you’ll finally write it –
If you get by the stage
when nothing
can make you write –
If you don’t die first

I keep those bests that love has given me
Nothing of them escapes –
I have proved it
proven once more in your eyes

Go marry! your son will have
blue eyes and still
there’ll be no answer
you have not found a cure
No more have I for that enormous
wedged flower, my mind
miraculously upon
the dead stick of night

Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian: “Jarmusch’s lovely new film steals up on you. It has an almost miraculous innocence. I can’t remember when I last saw a movie whose adult characters had so much simple, unassuming goodness, goodness that breaks everything in the modern culture rulebook by going unionised and unpunished. And Adam Driver’s face is something to fall in love with. An Easter Island statue reborn as a sensitive, delicate boy.”

Selected UK reviews:

Time Out (Geoff Andrew)
Sight And Sound (Henry K. Miller)
Independent (Geoffrey Macnab)

Official UK trailer: