Seeing ‘Paterson’

A street in Paterson, New Jersey, with stores on either side and traffic on the street.
Paterson, NJ (2014) by Jared Kofsky/Wikimedia Commons

A quiet movie of people’s (mostly) quiet lives, showing how a person’s outward appearance can project nothing of their inner life — that a bus driver composes poetry in his head while shuttling passengers from stop to stop — that a cupcake baker also enjoys painting black-and-white patterns around the house and wants to learn how to play guitar — that people can have the urge to craft their thoughts and feelings into a form of art, like a guy practicing a rap in a laundromat; the people we see in life and might not pay much attention to them (waiters, shop clerks, fast food restaurant cashiers), so little attention that they are forgettable the moment we walk away from them — how these people, within the routines of their lives, can harbor deep creativeness that may not make them rich and famous but can make them rich in expression by forming artworks that are inspired by their heroes and have their personal touches (from experiences, opinions), so no other artwork has ever been created that exactly, uniquely matches the one now being crafted.

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams