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Showing posts from February, 2017

Paterson

Paterson is everywhere in Jim Jarmusch's twelfth feature film.  There is the title, of course.  It is also the name of the film's bus-driver-by-day-poet-by-night-main character.  The New Jersey City is  the title and subject of the five-volume epic poem by William Carlos Williams, the poet and book(s) mentioned on several occasions in the film.  As Paterson, the man (Adam Driver) walks to and from his bus garage in a warren of old industrial buildings, we see the city name spelled out across some venerable old brick on a clearly visible ghost sign.  The driver's bus flows through the streets of the city as if conveyed through its very blood.  Teem as it might with the real New Jersey City, Jim Jarmusch has, as usual, created a place that is of the world and mainly not.  With this particular piece of work, at this particular time in America, that's not necessarily a bad thing.  
Mr. Jarmusch's films often exist in a kind of reverie, but the dream, the vision, is a…

Manchester by the Sea

"Aw, fuck this." A succinct expression from the aggrieved Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) that serves to as both a venting of  momentary exasperation and a more lingering, existential state of the man address.  The frustration at hand is bad enough, attending to the dire errands that follow the death of his beloved brother in a Manchester-by-the-Sea hospital, which occurred while he was on the road from Quincy.  But we already have a sense by this time that Lee Chandler's despondency and occasional flares of rage have a greater source than his brother's demise.  There's a kind of iceberg of grief dominating this man's consciousness, the dimension and impossible edges of which writer and director Kenneth Lonergan will make us powerfully aware as Manchester by the Sea proceeds.    
Manchester by the Sea is getting its share of attention as the generally-dubious reflection continues on the best films of 2016, not to mention a nod or two from that slow-moving old cy…