© 2017 by James Clark
Poetic filmmaker/ musician, Jim Jarmusch, has been bringing to our consideration singularities of dynamics for a long time. The effectively eccentric apparitions populating these works, often far from the dominant sagas of the struggles, treat us to white-hot energies paradoxically muted and doomed. With his recent creation, Paterson (2016), a memorable motif from the past resurfaces for the sake of contemplating 21st century dotage toward lives having erected fire-walls the better to confine themselves to tepid and myopic cocoons. The off-beat motif in question is the positioning of a dog being too-carnal to well-coincide with busy escapists. In that hipster/inventor’s Broken Flowers (2005), a TV-comic-like winning sensibility having made a fortune with IT has to rein himself in to avoid laughing in the face of an old flame who claims to derive insight from wild animals, especially the instance of her now-dead dog. In Ghost Dog (1999), a connoisseur of samurai methodology is far too preoccupied with practising his underground art to notice (twice) a black mutt who would love some attention from the ascetic self-server.
The protagonist, Paterson, of our film today is, like those just mentioned, a technician of sorts (being a local bus driver and poet of rigid literalism stifling the volatility of his muse); and he’s numbingly negligent toward his English Bulldog, Marvin. The legions of reviewers holding this paragon of modesty, civilized expression and citizenship as a new-wave every man have no time for what he’d be like to a non-rational being. Clearly never having expended any time and energy on fathoming Jarmusch’s discoveries, they stumble into the axiom/meatgrinder which could be put as, “Mess with the dog and you get covered with shit.” (more…)