Paterson Screen 45 articles



Paterson Poster
  • Adam Driver is pretty spot-on in Paterson, but I wasn’t as keen as many were on Jim Jarmusch going Ozu, with cutaways to a nefarious bulldog rather than pillow shots in a naked attempt to win the Palme Dog.

  • This double cuteness is spread all over the film, like the frosting patterns Paterson’s girlfriend, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), carefully applies to the cupcakes she sells... It would be good to see a Jarmuschian farmers’ market, or maybe a flea market — then Jarmusch could catalog all the knickknacks he loves without the encumbrance of a plot. It’s a saccharine film, sometimes relieved during Paterson’s walks through town on the way to the bar he visits every night while walking his cute dog.

  • It’s a remarkably free form film —so affable and comfortable in its skin —that my registration of time (“the fourth dimension”; “Hmm”) dropped away for much of the first hour; I would have been perfectly satisfied to see it continue, devoid of drama or narrative, for approximately eternity... The pleasures haven’t much extended into my post-screening contemplation, but the in-the-moment ebullience of just sitting and taking it in is a rare enough gift.

  • There is something touchingly bare // about this autobiography, // this demonstration of making // as an unspectacular // workaday habit // but it is also a bit awkward // and simple and I wonder // if there was a part of Jarmusch that // wanted to leave the masters out // for the dog to mangle.

  • Paterson, for all its apparent slightness, serves as a lovely portrait of the inspiration that artists take from daily life, insisting that creativity lies within all of us and that its raw materials lie all around us. It’s as sweetly optimistic a movie as anyone’s made in ages. Perfect timing.

  • All these experiences figure into Paterson's modest but lovely poems, which have titles such as “Another One” and “That Line.” The film so perfectly maintains the serenity of these scenes that one brief, serious-seeming disruption of the surface calm at first feels like a misstep, at least until Jarmusch uses the incident as a means to reaffirm and bring recognition of what Paterson's life has given him, and by extension, to offer a quietly profound statement on the virtue of any given life.

  • Almost a day after seeing it, I’m still thinking about it—and still laughing over some of its gently whirring wiffleball jokes—but also trying to parse its delicate, haiku-like beauty... It’s about so many things: The energy that keeps even an economically depressed city’s lifeblood thrumming, the closeness but also the inherent loneliness of couplehood, the way the things we do in our spare time can come to define who we are.

  • The week proceeds, and in a sublimely relaxing manner. We find and fall into the tempo of each day and, through them, a life. That life is stylized in the manner of Jarmusch’s films over the last decade that at first seems a bit too arch and honed down, but in his new film it beautifully builds on itself, separated into days and met with the occasional, gorgeous flourish of images dissolving into one another as Paterson reads his poetry (in fact written by American poet Ron Padgett).

  • Jim Jarmusch makes vibrant films / Out of quiet distinctions / A taste for perfect, ordinary things // Paterson’s a bus driver / Named, maybe / Because the actor’s Adam Driver / And the film’s set in the city of Paterson / A Jarmusch circular joke / If ever I saw one

  • Jarmusch’s depiction of Paterson, both the city and the character, is serene and quietly observed... More than most American filmmakers, Jarmusch’s ideology is grounded in history and culture while his ever-urbane worldview strives methodically to reconcile the philosophical potentialities of art. It’s one of many reasons he continues to embody that most paradoxical of identities: the perennial youthful veteran.

  • Though some might find the depiction of his mutually supportive relationship with girlfriend Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) implausibly free from tension, the film charms and impresses both as a billet doux (to a city, to poetry, to friendship, understanding and love) and as a celebration of the joys, beauty and good things that can be found among the disappointments and banalities of everyday life.

  • What’s compelling about Paterson is the tension—call it dialectical—between Jarmusch’s highly stylized elegy for a once-vibrant industrial city in New Jersey and his self-conscious homage to a poetic sensibility.

  • It rivals Toni Erdmann for the festival’s most audacious and pleasurable film. Both are comedies, but where Ade’s film sprawls and succeeds via its script and larger-than-life performances, Jarmusch’s is pared down, like a great three-chord rock song that transcends through repetitions and minute variations.

  • Every thing... is rendered with the most exquisite patience and care. I can also tell you that Paterson is extremely beautiful; that it was shot (by the great Frederick Elmes, reunited with Jarmusch 11 years after Broken Flowers) on an Alexa, and that you’ll swear it’s 35; that it’s very funny; that Driver and Jarmusch are perfectly meshed; and that a perfectly good start for thinking about this seemingly small but ever-expanding movie can be found in Williams’s namesake poem.

  • After the disappointment of Only Lovers Left Alive, where Jarmusch was trying just that little bit too hard to be effortlessly cool, I came into Paterson with low expectations, and the pairing of Driver and Farahani – both of whom are a little, shall we say, overexposed at present – had the potential to be profoundly irritating. But the delights of monotony are so charmingly depicted, and the two lead actors so winsome in the subtlety of their performances, that I was won over to the film.

  • Jarmusch excels in Paterson insofar that the film is full of ideas and rigorously adept at displaying them. But the approach here is gentle and simple—not unlike Paterson’s poetic focus on the everyday objects around him which pique his curiosity—and so the film marries ideas and concepts and characters into its own form thereby creating a perfect little film that doesn’t need to try too hard to win us over.

  • Paterson's sunny aesthetic and disposition marks a stylistic departure for Jarmusch, significantly removed from the arty cool of his earlier work. Yet here is a film with the confidence to be as blissfully contented as its protagonist, to sketch out a vision of everyday life without feeling the need to justify it with narrative or thematic ambitions. What could be cooler than that?

  • The world is still hard on Jarmusch’s dreamers, whether an aging rock star or a bus driver with a notebook, but he’s always known how wonderfully kind it can be, too. Paterson is one of the warmest creations he’s ever given us, but with any luck he’ll never stop showing us what’s cool.

  • Jarmusch’s aesthetic is more streamlined than usual. Paterson is more Broken Flowers (2005) than The Limits of Control (2009). This is not a bad thing at all, especially when he’s working with an exceptional crew. Adam Driver is self-effacing, contemplative, and romantic. Farahani is open, curious, and high-spirited.

  • With its repetitions and daily calendar set-up, the film is a kind of pop structuralism; when Paterson’s bus breaks down on the fifth day, the deviation from routine carries a weight, like when Jeanne Dielman burns the potatoes. Jarmusch doesn’t let us forget that Paterson’s world is part of a larger, scarier one... Threats are everywhere, but so are sublimities. All is ephemeral; it’s up to us to decide what to try and hold on to.

  • It's about the ordinary pleasures and cyclical rhythms - and the variations upon those rhythms - of everyday life, and the potential for the seemingly mundane to take on the appearance of the wondrous in just the right light, or when viewed from the right angle. Such quotidian rhythms, and the daily ephemera that produce periodic variations or inflections thereof, directly inform the poems jotted down by Driver's Paterson.

  • And maybe that's what poetry is, the momentary flash that reveals - / Not explains, just reveals - / The world as a single constellation, with all its various stars all aligned / And burning brightly. / Each one announcing 'Here I am' and / Containing its own secret world. / Each one important in its way. / Then the light fades, and things are just things again.

  • Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson is a film about amateurism. And thus, an answer to the films of Howard Hawks... I find it moving that the everyday is not only the subject of this film, but also deeply embedded in its structure.

  • Every conversation in the film hums with a meaning so refined that it’s only just palpable. Seemingly casual exchanges are rooted in a desire to show individuals connecting. For these characters, effort is constant, banality inevitable. And so, in the moments that erupt out of nowhere, when there is a chance to really speak to a person in need and in reach, a small gesture is the stuff of poetry.

  • The film's minimal narrative and attractively downbeat setting hark back to the Jarmusch of the 80s and 90s. The action, such as it is, unfolds in uncluttered images at an unhurried pace over seven days in Paterson’s life, each a variation on the last.

  • At a time when certain doom seems to hover just above our heads, a film like Jim Jarmusch's Paterson becomes all the more essential, its understated, rhythmic rendering of ordinary existence feeling both timeless and entirely modern.

  • The movie’s structure is very tight and formally constrained, following a week in the man’s life and spending roughly fifteen minutes of screen time on each day as we become accustomed to his routine and its slight variations. The result is one of Jarmusch’s best works in many years, showing great empathy and understanding of his characters while also avoiding sentimentality and its evil twin, cynicism.

  • Another minimalist masterpiece from writer-director Jim Jarmusch, but lighter and sweeter than anyone expected, this film about a poetry-writing bus driver and his artist girlfriend is endearing and surprising because it doesn't inflict any drastic suffering on its heroes. Parts of it feel like "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" for grownups. Less of a story than a meditation on contentment, perhaps—but wow, do we need something like that, not just this year, but every year.

  • The film is a miracle of control. Every moment, every detail, every casting choice … is so perfect, so carefully considered, and yet the end result feels effortless, easy, lifelike. It’s a movie about synchronicity. About how humans are pattern-making machines. It’s a movie about meaning itself. It’s also sweet and tender and kind, without any manipulation of the material, or any sense that Jarmusch is going after your heartstrings.

  • For all its earnest, intermittently successful efforts to find wonder in the mundane and quotidian, the film is too neatly orchestrated, assembled from handy preoccupations rather than harvested doc-style from unfenced reality. Paterson’s poems shoulder too much of the burden of bringing out his inner life onscreen. Keeping his distance from the granular details of psychic conflict, Jarmusch’s domestic idyll veers distressingly close to some kind of working-class virtue fanfic.

  • The numerous historical references can feel a bit stilted, though I was sorry that there was no mention of Larry Doby, who followed Jackie Robinson to become the second black player in major league baseball. But the movie is sweetly aware of the difference it makes to know one belongs to a place that’s been touched by extraordinary being—it somehow makes you see yourself differently.

  • There’s a sense of interdependent gears at work here. The man, the bus, the passengers, the bar patrons, all pouring into the poetry. But if the movie were merely an exercise in Jarmusch’s fancy, it would be a pleasurable thing. It is a meticulously composed movie, shot beautifully by Frederick Elmes; every frame is a beauty. “Paterson” is ultimately more than a whim. It is a movie that actually grows more enigmatic on a second viewing.

  • Things happen to Paterson — he has a rough Friday and Saturday, though a better Sunday — but Mr. Jarmusch doesn’t turn problems into drama. Life is enough. Instead, with visual precision and emotional restraint — and aided by Mr. Driver’s tamped-down, sober and gently endearing performance — Mr. Jarmusch creates that rarest portrait of the artist: the one who’s happy being hard at work.

  • Walking out of Paterson last May at Cannes, I felt like it was the closest the director had come to making an artistic manifesto. Having seen it again, I'm even more convinced... Paterson is the purest distillation yet of Jarmusch's aesthetic.

  • Jarmusch implants routine into PATERSON’s DNA. Each day follows an almost identical shape, with repeated images. An atmospheric score, by Carter Logan, also is circular. The film has a tone and form close to the poetic style it champions—intimate camerawork, posed above figures, patiently watching. There’s a minimalist elegance to the framing, such as the repeated shot of the chair in Paterson’s bedroom, on which his clothes for the day sit waiting to be worn.

  • It feels like an attempt, and a very successful one, to approximate Williams’s, or Padgett’s, poetry in film form. It’s a remarkably beautiful, satisfying work: it’s crisply, precisely shot by Frederick Elmes, its images making the most of the ordinary places and faces of a city that may not in reality be as interesting or quietly charming as it seems here.

  • The power of “Paterson” is in its seemingly long-brewing and deeply felt outburst of personal mythology; its world-building comes off as a credo, a belatedly laid and lifeworn cornerstone of Jarmusch’s work, a quietly ecstatic vision of workaday perseverance and inspiration. It’s ingenious, rousing, passionate—and yet constrained by the iron force of its own sense of virtue.

  • Jim Jarmusch has an uncanny ability to create a world in which all the physical attributes are recognizably “real” even as the rhythm of that world is slightly skewed. And skewed just right. Casting Adam Driver seals the deal.

  • ++

    Film Comment: Nick Pinkerton
    January 03, 2017 | January/February 2017 Issue (p. 47)

    The film boasts one sight gag worthy of the genius of Hal Roach, and in a y when our "inner cities" are routinely dismissed as "hellholes," it imagines the possibility of urban life in terms recalling words that Randolph Bourne wrote over a century ago: a place fostering "the realization of the individual through the beloved community."

  • A lesser film would find life in Paterson, New Jersey a stifling slog, a prison of creative fulfillment. Instead, Jarmusch takes to heart the words of another poet, William Blake, once referenced in Dead Man: “Every night and every morn, some to misery are born. Every morn and every night, some are born to sweet delight.” Every morn and every night, Paterson is content, with the gift of being able to “see a world in grain of sand and a heaven in a wildflower.”

  • At a time when La La Land is riding high, here's a much richer film about the American artistic life. For Jarmusch, the US is the land of Walt Whitman and Iggy Pop, and he reminds you that, while art may get filtered through studio sets or NYC publishing houses, it springs from ordinary streets like grass growing through cracks in the cement. Driver is perfect, a shy observer spotting poetic links in life's ironies.

  • Herein lies the brilliance of Paterson as an elevated exploration of duality. Life can be one thing, or it can be another, malleable and volatile like crashing waterfalls, or simply sublime like water falling on hair. To paraphrase some of Paterson’s own poems, your legs can be running out the door while your top half sits writing upstairs, each stubbornly ready for the next verse.

  • Driver does what an actor can do in the movies, aided by a director who has the patience to watch him, who has the faith that the wait will yield something worth seeing and the knowledge of how to use the camera to bring us close to the actor without violating the air of emotional privacy that he has cultivated. Driver marries the surface stoicism of the classic male hero with the rich inner life of a man of deep feeling. And that’s why we feel so close to him.

  • It’s part of the beauty and power of Jarmusch’s minimalism as he’s developed it in Paterson that it seems bountiful rather than deprived, an embarrassment of everyday miracles that yields an exquisitely uncluttered film about commonplace clutter — the kind that accumulates during a mainly ordinary week in the life of a New Jersey bus driver who also writes poetry, and one in which the ordinary flow of time is given an uncommon degree of orchestration.

  • The poems, written by New York School poet Ron Padgett, appear on screen as they’re read aloud in voiceover; they are ingenuous and winsome much like Jarmusch’s films... PATERSON may be his most refreshing contradiction, a self-edit that puts not only his ethos into perspective, but also the whole concept of what it means to be an artist.

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