Paterson ★★★½


I can never

have enough Jarmusch in my life.

His films are like the matches

situated in the back

of a junk drawer

in the corner of the kitchen.

I don't always need them.

Sometimes -- a lot of the time

-- I'm in need of sturdier stuff.

Hard 16mm Kodachrome frames

containing light like iced tea

in a pitcher

with the sun glinting through.

Or the murkier smudges of factory walls

from some Eastern European backwater,

smokestack stained and almost comically

awash in weeds.

But then I remember DEAD MAN,

the way Neil's guitar chimed across the war

painted face of William Blake

"like a god damn religious icon,"

or Isaac striped across the sky


("the one nobody likes")

a towering cancellation mark

against hope's assassination.

And now... this poet who drives a bus in New Jersey.


I am not entirely convinced

that Paterson is real.

Usually in Jarmusch's movies

the artists make "art" when they are

simply following the rhythms

they cannot ignore --

the tug of old things

the samurai code

even an obsession for cupcakes.

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.

"I did it. It is done.

Moving on."

Michael liked this review