quarta-feira, 19 de abril de 2017


In Paterson, Adam Driver's character does the same thing every day. "Routine is very liberating and nurturing for him," says director Jim Jarmusch.
When do you think about poetry, what comes straight up to your mind? A kind of old-fashioned literary expression which is either too sentimental or to hermetic, made by cultivated writers to cultivated readers who keep themselves enclosed in a restrict club of insiders? If you watch "Paterson" (2016), the latest feature directed by Jim Jarmusch, I am pretty sure you'll change your mind.

In the movie we follow Paterson, a poetry-writer bus driver who leads a very simple and familiar routine in the city of the same name, Paterson, New Jersey, U.S. A city which, in real life, has been the inspiration for William Carlos Williams's epic poem, also titled Paterson - a long poem published in 5 volumes, from 1946 to 1958. Not by coincidence, Paterson, the character played by Adam Driver, rates William Carlos Williams as his favourite poet. A poet who ventured to depict man and city as one sole thing, inseparable, organically tied to each other as a flowing river. 

It might sound as another plot only for insiders, yet we really do not need to know anything of this trivia to step into the story and connect with Paterson and hear and see him reciting his poems inspired by common events of his unchangeable daily life. He lives with his wife, they have a dog, he wakes up every morning without the buzzing of an alarm clock, he writes poetry at his lunchtime, he knocks off work sharp for dinner at home, then heads for the regular bar he is used to having a pint and a chitchat with the other local customers.

Boring? Not at all. Because the eyes of Paterson are the eyes of a flying imagination that doesn't know any boundaries. Tiny little objects have their beauty, they are meaningful in so many different ways. People, daily occurrences repeated steadily, turn to be unique, indivisible. Poetry is much a broader concept, a style of writing, even a way of life that can be experienced by everyone. That inflated or narrow perspectives people usually have about how poetry should look like just crumbles down throughout the film narrative. We are all insiders, all entitled to write poetry. All poets-to-be.

PS. I leave you with one of the pieces of Paterson's poetry, contributed to the movie by Ron Padget, poet, close friend with Jim Jarmusch, and adviser of the film. Enjoy!


We have plenty of matches in our house 
We keep them on hand always
Currently our favourite brand
Is Ohio Blue Tip
Though we used to prefer Diamond Brand
That was before we discovered
Ohio Blue Tip matches
They are excellently packaged
Sturdy little boxes
With dark and light blue and white labels
With words lettered
In the shape of a megaphone
As if to say even louder to the world
Here is the most beautiful match in the world
It’s one-and-a-half-inch soft pine stem
Capped by a grainy dark purple head
So sober and furious and stubbornly ready
To burst into flame
Lighting, perhaps the cigarette of the woman you love
For the first time
And it was never really the same after that

All this will we give you
That is what you gave me
I become the cigarette and you the match
Or I the match and you the cigarette
Blazing with kisses that smoulder towards heaven

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