PATERSON joined the small list of films that interrogate our relationship to the fiction, presented in the official selection at Cannes this year. After Stay vertical, My Loute, Sierra Nevada and American Honey, here’s the new Jim Jarmusch , to add to this “clan” that seems to refuse to tell us a story with springs minimum for us actively involved as a spectator. This film, like the other four previously mentioned, goes far beyond a simple rejection of classical rules of drama : PATERSON is an anti-fiction.
Yet, it is in a universe slightly to the margins of reality, populated with characters written, performed by actors. But overall, it has its own coherence, refuses to evolve for nearly three quarter of its length. The prologue which is the premise of the film, is in fact its almost synopsis : Paterson is a bus driver and passionate about poetry. He writes a little every day, in secret while his wife ignites a passion that is different every morning.
When we tell a story, it is expected that a disruptive element vienna plunge the protagonist into a journey that will take away from her daily life. Here, however, the routine is precisely what is filming Jim Jarmusch, without rushing rushing to some event that would break this pattern. Of course, small changes come to the drag in the mechanical watchmaking establishment by the protagonist (Adam Driver), but these minor changes will not have any impact on the continuation of the film, and will come even less lead to a form of revelation for the main character.
In the attention to detail of the life of Paterson, and his wife (Golshifteh Farahani), we feel Jim Jarmusch deeply moved by all of these artists in the shadows, forced to reconcile a job in the food with their artistic passion. It may even be that the director mentions a part autobiographical of her life, while he was not enough known to live only in his films. This tenderness is sometimes getting involved in a form of irony, either to crunch the modesty sickly looking Paterson who refuses to show anyone his poems, is to mock the excessive ambition of his wife, who is never given the means to deepen an area.
The major problem in PATERSON is its staging, because it could not be blamed to experiment with an alternative form of narrative. For a film about the poetry of daily life, very few images have an evocative force sufficient to forget the trouble caused by a total lack of plot. It is very far from the plastic beauty of the Dead Man, of Broken Flowers or his last film, Only Lovers left alive. Some plans are even talking about a light TV studio. The quasi-absence of movement of the camera or originality in the composition does not embody a form of abstraction, minimalism or formal research. The style that emerges is not that of a realism cold, because of this light that is too smooth. As the poem of love, wrote Paterson after the brand of matches Ohio Tip, the staging of PATERSON is pretty close to a dream advertising. The mounting is just ok, quite original in some moments to make us feel the flow in which is immersed the character, this state of concentration in the release that can be achieved by practicing a repetitive task.
“Jarmusch looks with tenderness on the daily modest of these artists in the shadows.”
Strangely, this saves PATERSON lies in the delicate art of Jarmusch ‘s mockery of his characters and of himself. At the turn of a phrase, or a look of dog, one feels the author, who cries out to us “don’t take any of it too much to heart.” Almost a quarter of an hour of the end, the film finally wins a bit of height with an unlikely encounter, between Paterson and a perfect stranger, the dialogue says a lot about the perspective that Jarmusch wanted to give his film about the place of the artist in society. What fascinates the listener of Paterson, it is precisely that he is a bus driver in this city who has gave birth to many artists, who also cumulated a job for food with their passion. The meaning of the last film of Jarmusch lies almost exclusively in the dialogues, which can be seen as a weakness for a film, “poetic”, or as a symptom of a fascination with literary. The words of the poems of Paterson, who appear over-printing to the screen betray can be an urge for Jarmusch to try it himself to poetry. Rather than offer us a film unfinished, we would have preferred that he write directly to a collection on this neighborhood fantasized. PATERSON, the poem or impossible to Jarmusch…
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