Posted on Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
I do not envy anyone tasked with cutting trailers for Jim Jarmusch films. How do you take the work of a filmmaker known for observational storytelling, small moments, and offbeat touches and sell that you a mass audience? How do you create the illusion of a narrative for a film by a director who has the habit of rejecting narrative whenever he feels like it?
At the very least, the Paterson trailer can make use of Adam Driver‘s increasingly famous face and the fact that the film has received nearly universal praise from critics.
The most fun thing about observing the career of Jim Jarmusch (and it should be said that I’m an admirer of his work, not an expert) is willingness and ability to leap between genres and try completely different things without ever losing sight of the personal touches that define him. The same artist making a melancholy comic drama like Broken Flowers, a vampire hang-out movie like Only Lovers Left Alive, a nightmarish western like Dead Man, an offbeat crime drama like Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai, and a surreal tribute to rock music like Mystery Train is impressive enough. That they all share the same distinct voice, the same quirks, and the same obsessions makes his filmography a joy to explore.
What is there to say about Paterson based purely on the trailer? Well, it stars Adam Driver a bus driver named Paterson, who lives and works in the city of Paterson, New Jersey. He is also a poet and maybe a pretty good one. He has a series of mundane adventures as he goes about his days. How do you sell that? Maybe like this?
The film had a successful festival run throughout 2016 racking up acclaim from most critics. Our own Angie Han gave it a glowing review, concluding:
Paterson is sprinkled throughout with Paterson’s poems, which like the movie tend to start out mundane (“We have plenty of matches in our house”) before revealing themselves as something more evocative. Poetry isn’t a side hustle for the character or even, really, a way for him to express himself. They’re how he processes his world, and how he imbues it with meaning. His affinity for poetry may be the most surprising thing about him, but by the end of Paterson, you suspect everyone has a little poetry in them. It might not take the same form as Paterson’s — it might be drama or chess or simply caring for your loved ones — but that blazing inner flame that makes you unique is what unites us all. With Paterson, Jarmusch has blessed us with one of those films that makes the world seem just a little bit brighter.
And while the awards season is young yet, it scored five Gotham Awards nominations, including Best Feature, Director, Screenplay, and Actor. I’m very much looking forward to seeing it and the fact that Amazon is releasing it means that anyone who subscribes to their streaming services will have that chance.
Paterson will open on December 28, 2016. Here’s the official synopsis:
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Paterson is a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey — they share the name. Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his daily route, observing the city as it drifts across his windshield and overhearing fragments of conversation swirling around him; he writes poetry into a notebook; he walks his dog; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer; he goes home to his wife, Laura. By contrast, Laura’s world is ever changing. New dreams come to her almost daily. Paterson loves Laura and she loves him. He supports her newfound ambitions; she champions his gift for poetry. The film quietly observes the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.