This week BUFS is pleased to present Paterson, a Drama/Romance from writer-director Jim Jarmusch.
This quiet film is an ode to the simplicity of life that follows Paterson (Adam Driver) a bus driver living in Paterson, New Jersey. Living with wife Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) and their dog Marvin, they enjoy a calm domestic life. Paterson goes to work, where he writes conscientious lines of poetry in his notebook, when he’s home he walks his dog, and stops at the local bar for always one drink. While his life seems to be drowning in mundanity, it is not unhappy.
Paterson is a film about the creative process, it is extraordinary in how humane this story is told. Moving at the pace of life (read: slowly), the narrative momentum moves as it goes on, portraying a person’s daily routine and making it feel curiously powerful even in its most banal moments. Paterson seems like a simple man, he is soft spoken and mild-mannered, lacks close friends but he finds inspiration in the smallest things, like a box of matches or overheard bar talk. His poetry, which he keeps hidden in the basement reminds viewers that this is not the story of a successful poet, but rather a story celebrating the artistic spark we all find within ourselves. That spark is found within his wife through her strange cooking experiments or questionable interior décor tastes. In his only friend and bartender Doc (Barry Shabaka,) it is found in his love for chess.
Paterson is a film without any major plot, causing viewers to engage with these sparks of artistic nature for the purpose of enjoying art rather than hopes for success. This film, which is grounded in mundanity displays itself in almost a magical sense. Paterson allows the audience to look at life through different eyes, ones that are less distracted and more thoughtful.
While the film is spectacular already in its narrative- or lack thereof, Paterson is only elevated by the strength of the two leading performances. Farahani is an Iranian actress, known for working in Asghar Farhadi’s 2009 drama About Elly. In Paterson, she is irrepressible and vivacious, balancing out Driver’s more muted performance. Driver, while playing a calmer character, does not portray Paterson as stoic, instead he achieves a way to convey thought and the act of thinking as something graceful. In an ode to everyday life, this film about a bus-driving poet is a reminder on the beauty of perspective.
Paterson screens Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Landmark Theatres, Pen Centre. Visit www.brocku.ca/bufs for details.
-Megan Forde, Contributor