Paterson 2016: finding peace amongst chaos


Kendall Caple   


For Northwestern State University students and faculty, having to deal with the global pandemic of COVID-19 and Hurricane Laura striking has put everyone behind schedule. It created more inconvenience and anxiety for everybody.  

It’s just easier to stay in bed, hidden under the blankets safe from the world’s mayhem–it’s also a very limited perspective.  

Directed by Jim Jarmusch, “Paterson” (2016) is a love letter to all the present simplistic beauty in the world.  

An ode to the average person, “Paterson” stars Adam Driver as a bus driver and aspiring poet in Paterson, New Jersey, who finds himself inspired by everything from Ohio Blue Tip Matches to the first day of spring.  

A film heavily influenced by the poetry of William Carlos Williams, “Paterson” reminds us that life does not need to be defined by grandiose adventures to be fulfilling. We must travel our own creative paths, and forge avenues of love and support that are available to be found everywhere as long as we remember to pay attention to our surroundings. 

Although everyone undergoes life differently, people are universally connected through the shared experience of living. Driver’s character, Paterson–named just like the city–endures everything from happiness and sadness, to repetition with his routines, but amidst it all–contentment. 

To further Jarmusch’s celebration of the nobody, cinematographer Frederick Elmes and editor Affonso Gonçalves, respectively, shoot and edit the film in a way that captures the snapshots of life, emphasizing the little changes that occur in the repetitiveness that make life special.  

“Paterson” is a relaxing and enjoyable movie that reminds us to find peace and beauty in a world that often doesn’t stop to hand us any. Although the film might seem simple with its writing and characters, it is inspired by the idea that one of the best things the world has to offer is love, and that one of the best pieces of art that we encounter is the life that we live. 

“Paterson” is available for viewing on Amazon Prime Video with a subscription, and a worthwhile watch for those moments you need to lessen the stress of world. 

In a tough world that doesn’t always offer us the love that we need, one of the bravest things we can do as humans is get out of bed and continue trekking on.