“So much depends
a red wheelbarrow
glazed with rain
beside the white chickens”
The poem above is titled The Red Wheelbarrow. It was written by Pulitzer Prize winner William Carlos Williams, who was inspired by the people he saw every day in Paterson, New Jersey. He was so inspired he wrote a five-volume poem entitled Paterson. This, combined with The Red Wheelbarrow, is the key inspiration for Jim Jarmousch’s new film, Paterson.
Paterson follows a week in the life of a bus driver in Paterson. The bus driver, also named Paterson, takes each day as it comes to him and becomes inspired by whatever he comes across during work each day.
As you follow Paterson on his day-to-day routine, you can’t help but get sucked into the world Jarmousch has created. There are rarely any jump cuts. Instead, the camera takes the time to linger on Paterson as he recites ideas for poetry in his mind. Then, when it finally does change angles, it will cross fade instead of cutting. This allows some movie goers to slowly lull themselves into the rhythm of the film. However, to other movie goers, it may seem dull and repetitive.
All of the poetry written by Paterson in the film was written by Ron Padgett. Padgett is the founder of the former avant-garde literary journal, The White Dove Review. A magazine which kicked off careers of poets such as Alan Ginsburg and Robert Creely.
Adam Driver plays the title role of Paterson. Most would know him as the fearsome Kylo Ren in the new Star Wars trilogy. Therefore, seeing the actor play the quiet, ever thoughtful Paterson is quite the surprise. Driver pulls out an excellent performance. A moral middle man to all of the odd people he meets. The audience relates to Paterson and sees the world through his eyes. That’s all thanks to Driver’s performance.
Golshifteh Farahani play’s Paterson’s loving yet easily distracted wife, Laura. Farahani is best known to audiences as Shansa in Pirates of the Carrabin: Dead Men Tell No Tales. A film that did not fare too well at the box office. However, in Paterson, Farahani’s talent shines. Whenever she’s on screen you can’t help but watch her. She truly brings an air of bubbly energy that makes you understand how Paterson fell in love with her.
This film, without a doubt, is an easy Pick-it. However, to truly enjoy the film, I imagine you will need to be in the mood for a slow burn.