As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.
A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial hostility and indifference a small degree of affection grows between the two. Along... See full summary »
Exactly one week in the life of a young man named Paterson of Paterson, New Jersey is presented. He lives an extremely regimented and routinized life, that routine perhaps most vividly displayed by the fact that he is able to wake up at exactly the same time every day without an alarm. That life includes eating Cheerios for breakfast, walking to work carrying his brown bag lunch packed in his lunch pail by his wife Laura, having a casual chat with his colleague Donny before he begins his shift driving the #23 Paterson bus for the local public transit company, walking home where he straightens out the exterior mailbox which somehow during the day gets knocked crooked, eating dinner with Laura and listening to her goings-on of the day, taking Laura's English bulldog Marvin - who he would admit to himself he doesn't much like - out for a walk to his neighborhood bar where he has one and only one beer before walking home with Marvin. There are day to day variations which are often the ... Written by
I owe Jarmusch a debt of gratitude for being a formative figure in shaping my cinematic tastes. I shall never forget watching Stranger Than Paradise (1984) in NY in the early 1980s: the novelty, joy, patient camera movement, the fantastic way of playing Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'I Put a Spell on You' throughout the soundtrack. I have seen most of Jarmusch's movies ever since and more than three decades later, Paterson did not disappoint. Jarmusch is as creative as ever, gifting us with a wonderful film. The set is Paterson N.J., the protagonists are a bus driver also named Patterson and his artistically creative spouse. Paterson writes poetry, reads poetry, and encounters poetry wherever he goes and whoever he meets. This is it. And it is as engaging, uplifting, funny, and as insightful as a film can be. Patterson may be watched as a homage. It delicately portrays a particular place, Paterson New Jersey, reminding us that a place, any place, is always a product of the way its present mixes up with its past, of the way people both walk it and remember it. But the film is not only a homage to a place, it is also a homage to daily life, to the mundanity of just going to work and having a drink after a day's work. One striking feature of this film is that there are no bad characters here, no evil spirits, no mean intentions. In fact the only mean character in the film is the protagonists' dog, but even the dog is not too bad, just a drag. And miraculously, in spite of this, the film is totality innocent of naiveté. As if at the hands of a gifted anthropologist, the camera curiously follows and watches, and the film never falls into anything resembling judgment and condescension. It is truly genius in its ability to draw us into the perspective of the protagonists, to embrace their feelings and movements, to empathize with them and to fall in love with their numerous small encounters. Remarkably, one of the achievements here is that the film feels and looks timeless. It could be shot in the 1950s, or the 1970s, and yet it makes no attempt to hide the fact that it has been shot only recently. Incidentally, Paterson makes a point about not having a mobile phone. It does wonders to the film and its ability to give homage. A truly uplifting film.
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