Meaning of the Movie “Paterson”

My wife and I just watched Paterson, the new movie written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. It touched me unlike any film I’ve seen in years; I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. And what was on the screen? A box of matches, a guitar, cupcakes, the inside of a bus, the outside of a dreary house, a dark dive bar, an ugly dog, old city streets and buildings, lots of circles and twins, a waterfall, a bridge, lines of poetry, and  … mature love.

The film made the ordinary seem … extraordinary. It reminded me of Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town,” which also exalts the wonder of ordinary things. Paterson and his wife find beauty and love in and among the ordinary. They literally create their own meaning to life, by filling its blank canvas with poetry, music, cupcakes, and conversation. What a contrast their relationship is to the toxic masculinity and over-sexualized femininity that permeate our culture. The two of them never seem to get what they want but, at the same time, they somehow have everything they want.

The film is an ode to mindfulness, to love, and ultimately to life itself. I will watch it again.


Here are some reviews of the film:

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3 thoughts on “Meaning of the Movie “Paterson”

  1. I understand the intent. But I have to just say that the feel of the film was dark and I was waiting for a horrible event to occur. I admit being used to watching films and videos that present the worst in humanity maybe conditioned the response in me. I do think that Drivers character just seemed too unhappy to believe that he was actually somehow content in his situation

  2. thanks for the comments. No doubt the interpretation of film is somewhat subjective.

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