Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Paterson 2016

           A near perfect sweet gentle note  about the art of making art from that unique and singular moviemaker Jim Jarmusch. Set in the run down rumble tumble once proud industrial New Jersey city of Paterson it stars the wonderful Adam Driver as Paterson (I kid you not) who drives a bus during the day. He listens to and observes his passengers as we do, and writes poetry during his lunch breaks down by the beautiful Paterson falls and at night in his cramped office down in the basement.
                     I would also call Paterson the man a sweet and gentle note who lives with his charming sweetheart of a girlfriend Laura, played by the Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani who stays at home and bakes cupcakes for the local farmer’s market and paints everything in sight with bold black and white designs including the shower curtains and her clothes.
             Jarmusch lets us into their unassuming quiet and routine lives for a week, as we watch them wake up every morning and set about on their days’ journey. They also have a dog who is a stout small English bulldog who turns out to be the cause of the one tragic moment in this poem of a movie. It’s an eccentric film not for everyone or maybe not for anyone, but that’s what we come to expect from Jarmusch and this is what I love about his stuff.
            Poetry. The film was riveting and memory laden for me. Ron Padgett a leading member of the 2nd generation New York School of Poets wrote the actual poems that glide across the screen as Paterson writes them down in his secret notebook, and because of this they have a real presence and authority about them. I know Ron, and for many years I owned a lovely painting by Joe Brainard,  a self portrait of him at an easel painting Ron’s wife Pat. It hung in my loft until I left the building and couldn’t take it with me, so I stored it with a friend. Joe gave it to me; well he said I could pick out a painting from his show at a gallery we both exhibited in during the early 70’s. I wanted to give him a piece of mine, but he said no that he couldn’t take the responsibility of owning it. I had trouble at the time understanding this but I now totally get this fear of owning and the responsibility it entails especially as I get older.      
                         I really wanted one of his gorgeous dog paintings but they were all sold, so I took the self-portrait and brought it home on the subway. I shudder to think that I actually did this, but I also carried a delicate wax piece from Lynda Benglis this same way, and pretty much brought all my work for my first show at this gallery on the subway  a little bit at a time. Crazy and eccentric.
             I finally decided that I didn’t want the responsibility of owning this lovely painting and I got in touch with Ron and gifted it to him and Pat where it now rightly resides. William Carlos Williams the poet of the city also plays a big part in the film, there are many references to him and his falls and his poetry. Williams like many poets and indeed artists made a living from real jobs and occupations and still do. Williams was a pediatric doctor and I remember Bob Smithson telling me that he was his doctor. Did I imagine this, was it a dream?  No it was real, and reading an interview with Jarmusch he also makes note of this fact. I’ve known many poets and still do. I loved and lived with one for eight years, and I’ve collaborated with 100’s of them over time and still do. Some of my best friends are and were poets and the film for me has a tint of sadness to it because of this, and because many of them are no longer here. The beautiful cinematography done digitally is by the great Frederick Elmes. One of the best films of 2016    


Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter