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Paterson: Poetry In Motion!

January 25, 2017
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I write poetry from time to time, so I probably enjoyed this movie more than most will.  This film has a laconic pace, which, as most of you know by now, I usually don’t like, but it works in this film.  It’s a “slice-of-life” comedy/drama about a week in the life of Paterson (Adam Driver), a bus driver/poet who, coincidentally enough, was born and still lives in Paterson, N.J.  He now drives a N.J. Transit Bus all around Paterson.  This small city was once a thriving industrial center for textiles, but has been in decline for decades.  Paterson’s most famous resident is the great comedian Lou Costello and is also the subject of a famous poem by William Carlos Williams.

Paterson is married to a beautiful Iranian woman, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani).  She is a homemaker who is very creative and makes all kinds of interesting things like dresses, blinds, and shower curtains with interesting black and white patterns.  She loves to bake – she has a dream of making it big in cupcakes – and has even more ambitious dreams.

Laura loves Paterson’s poetry and encourages him to publish them, but Paterson is reluctant to expose himself and doesn’t even share his love poem about Laura with her.  (The poems, all of which I enjoyed, were written by Ron Padgett.)  Paterson keeps his poems in a “secret” book which he carries with him on the bus.  While driving the bus each day Paterson overhears many interesting and humorous conversations.

Rounding out the family is Laura’s English bulldog, Marvin, who is jealous of Laura’s love for Paterson.  (Marvin has ultimate charisma and if there was an A.W. for “Best Pet Actor,” he should win it, “nosing” out the cat in “Elle” by a paw!)  Paterson and Marvin go for a walk each evening after Paterson comes home from work.  Paterson always stops and has a beer at a local bar where there are some very interesting characters, including the bar owner, Doc (Barry Shabaka Henley), and a young  couple.

Not much happens, but each day has its interesting, funny, and poignant moments, and the film has lingered with me long after seeing it.  I think those of you with a poetic streak will really enjoy it.  If I were to quibble (which I apparently am doing), I would have liked to learn why such an intelligent and sensitive man is driving a bus and never left his home town.  I would have also liked to see at least some minor conflict in Paterson’s and Laura’s idyllic marriage, but it doesn’t really matter.

And now, as a free bonus to all of my loyal blog subscribers, here is one of my poems!

POLARITY:

 I’m the fly in your soup

The spot on your pants

The baby with croup

The picnic with ants

 

The long line on the ski lift

Your tire going flat

The non-returnable gift

The hairball in your cat

 

The lightning on the golf course

The cellulite in your thighs

The fourth place horse

All the unanswered whys

 

I’m HIV and cancer

The terrorist on the plane

The unexpected disaster

The fungus in the grain

 

I’m the love who broke your heart

The wrinkles on your face

That embarrassing fart

I’m all over the place

 

I’m just doing my duty

And I’ve got a long lease

Appreciate my beauty

And your heart will know peace

 

 

 

I write poetry from time to time, so I probably enjoyed this movie more than most will.  This film has a laconic pace, which, as most of you know by now, I usually don't like, but it works in this film.  It's a "slice-of-life" comedy/drama about a week in the life of Paterson (Adam Driver), a bus driver/poet who, coincidentally enough, was born and still lives in Paterson, N.J.  He now drives a N.J. Transit Bus all around Paterson.  This small city was once a thriving industrial center for textiles, but has been in decline for decades.  Paterson's most famous resident is the great comedian Lou Costello and is also the subject of a famous poem by William Carlos Williams. Paterson is married to a beautiful Iranian woman, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani).  She is a homemaker who is very creative and makes all kinds of interesting things like dresses, blinds, and shower curtains with interesting black and white patterns.  She loves to bake - she has a dream of making it big in cupcakes - and has even more ambitious dreams. Laura loves Paterson's poetry and encourages him to publish them, but Paterson is reluctant to expose himself and doesn't even share his love poem about Laura with her.  (The poems, all of which I enjoyed, were written by Ron Padgett.)  Paterson keeps his poems in a "secret" book which he carries with him on the bus.  While driving the bus each day Paterson overhears many interesting and humorous conversations. Rounding out the family is Laura's English bulldog, Marvin, who is jealous of Laura's love for Paterson.  (Marvin has ultimate charisma and if there was an A.W. for "Best Pet Actor," he should win it, "nosing" out the cat in "Elle" by a paw!)  Paterson and Marvin go for a walk each evening after Paterson comes home from work.  Paterson always stops and has a beer at a local bar where there are some very interesting characters, including the bar owner, Doc (Barry Shabaka Henley), and a young  couple. Not much happens, but each day has its interesting, funny, and poignant moments, and the film has lingered with me long after seeing it.  I think those of you with a poetic streak will really enjoy it.  If I were to quibble (which I apparently am doing), I would have liked to learn why such an intelligent and sensitive man is driving a bus and never left his home town.  I would have also liked to see at least some minor conflict in Paterson's and Laura's idyllic marriage, but it doesn't really matter. And now, as a free bonus to all of my loyal blog subscribers, here is one of my poems! POLARITY:  I’m the fly in your soup The spot on your pants The baby with croup The picnic with ants   The long line on the ski lift Your tire going flat The non-returnable gift The hairball in your cat   The lightning on the golf course The cellulite in…

7.5

A Poetic Movie Experience!

A Subtle and Poignant Film!
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8

I have loved the movies ever since I saw “The Wizard of Oz” as a young boy. When Beatle-mania hit the USA, Rock-N-Roll was my greatest passion, but I haven’t enjoyed the current music scene nearly as much over the past 15 years, so that void has been filled by film. In college and med school, I would see movies with my friends and we would stay up late into the night chatting about them. I still love seeing movies with friends and then having dinner to discuss them. This blog evolved out of my desire to tell my movie-loving friends about movies I thought they would enjoy. The blog allows me to do this in a fun way and to reach movie fans everywhere.

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