Paterson is a bus driver in the city of Paterson who writes poetry inspired by the everyday in Jim Jarmusch’s meditation on the nature of art and life.
Paterson’s days all follow the same script: he goes to work, walks his dog, pops into a bar, and spends time at home with his wife. And every day he writes poems he never shows to anyone. His work exists independently from any literary canon: uniquely expressive, it is based on a very personal relationship with the word and can have even an old matchbox as its subject. Paterson’s wife—the only person who knows about his poems—tries to persuade him to publish them. But does poetry really need to be printed?
Jarmusch’s perspective shifts our habitual view on the routine and the mundane. In his world, the most insignificant of events, such as Paterson’s daily travel to work or his encounter with a Japanese tourist, carry a mark of mystery and magic. So too the poetry written by the bus driver, which only seems naive at first sight, ultimately adding to its mystery.
In Paterson, Jarmusch poses the question of whether art does indeed have to relate to grand narratives and be presented to the public. Does an artist need fame and acclaim? In his previous film, Only Lovers Left Alive, Jarmusch assumed an ironic elitist perspective on art as a finer element of the everyday accessible only to the chosen few, as represented by a couple of aristocratic vampires. In Paterson, art is a way of relating to life accessible to any romantic or dreamer and that needs no external recognition.
The film will be screened in English and Italian with Russian subtitles.
Director Jim Jarmusch
France, Germany, USA, 2016. 118 min. 18+