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Darren H

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  1. Darren H

    The Rider

    I haven't seen many 2018 films yet, but The Rider is among my favorites. I'm guessing I'm the only arthouse film critic who lives on a horse farm and has spent a lot of time around rodeo riders, so it was fun to talk horses and horse culture with Chloe Zhao. I'm proud of this interview.
  2. Darren H

    Podcast Recommendations?

    Pete Holmes (comedian & creator/star of Crashing on HBO) is an acquired taste. He's goofy and laughs too loudly at his own jokes and interrupts his guests constantly, but I really enjoy his podcast, You Made it Weird. The episodes are long (usually two hours), which allows for a lot of diversions and surprising revelations from guests you might have heard interviewed a dozen times before. Holmes was raised in the church, went to Gordon College on a track to become a pastor, and then gradually drifted away from religion. But he's a devoted, obsessive seeker, and every episode of his podcast is designed to eventually work its way to questions of belief and meaning. He's especially good, I think, when talking with name-brand Christians like Rob Bell or his latest guest, Kent Dobson. David Bazan is predictably great too.
  3. Darren H

    First Reformed

    Just a quick note for A&F old-timers. It looks like I'm gonna have a sit-down interview with Schrader next week for Filmmaker, and I intend to talk to him about transcendental style, Bresson, Bergman, Tarkovsky, and all of those topics we debated so passionately here (and in other fora) 15 years ago. It feels like a coming home.
  4. Darren H

    La Fille Inconnue / The Unknown Girl (2016)

    Thanks, Jeffrey. It's funny that you mention that particular line because I'm not sure that I totally believe it. Even when Jean-Pierre said it, it felt rote compared with the rest of our conversation -- like it was an idea that they were committed to and liked to mention to interviewers. I can imagine them trying to take that stance as writers, but everything about their production model is so measured and controlled. I think they pull more strings than they're willing to admit. My favorite part of the interview is when I pressed them on their expressionist style. Luc is much more chatty and he rambled for a while around the question. Then there was a pause and Jean-Pierre broke their pattern (they always take turns answering questions) to add, "It’s true. [pause] We do try to pick primary colors. We liked to see Jenny dressed in blue and burgundy." I'm weirdly proud of getting that out of him. Critics seldom talk about their films in that way, and the two of them never do.
  5. Darren H

    First Reformed

    Agreed. The long conversation near the beginning of the film was the best thing I saw at TIFF. Part of the fun was imagining Schrader alone at a computer, arguing both sides of the debate.
  6. Darren H

    La Fille Inconnue / The Unknown Girl (2016)

    My interview was posted a couple weeks ago.
  7. Darren H

    First Reformed

    MAJOR SPOILERS (because I want to talk about this with Ken) . . . . . . I have a completely different reading of the end. If you think it's anticipated by Pickpocket, then I assume you think the last image is really happening? I'm 100% sure he has committed suicide and the final moments are him "standing on holy ground." In which case the main point of reference isn't Pickpocket but Through a Glass Darkly, when the father tells his son:
  8. Darren H

    TIFF 2017

    Not much recent activity on this forum, but I've been posting my TIFF list here for more than a decade and I'm nothing if not a creature of habit. Anyone else going this year? And if so, what do you think of the lineup? I feel a little unmoored because so few of my favorite directors have films at this festival. I've done my research and made my best guess at what I'm most likely to connect with, but I still know almost nothing about most of these films. For those who haven't been following TIFF news, a third of the lineup this year was directed by women, and I'd guess my schedule has about the same ratio. Thursday, 9/7 BPM (Robin Campillo) The Nothing Factory (Pedro Pinho) Good Luck (Ben Russell) Western (Valeska Grisebach) Friday, 9/8 The Rider (Chloé Zhao) The Future Ahead (Constanza Novick) I Am Not a Witch (Rungano Nyoni) Mrs. Fang (Wang Bing) Wavelengths 1: Appetite for Destruction (6 shorts) Florence (Erkki Kurenniemi) & Prototype (Blake Williams) Saturday, 9/9 Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig) Strangely Ordinary This Devotion (Dani Leventhal, Sheilah Wilson) & Beyond the One (Anna Marziano) Occidental (Neïl Beloufa) High Fantasy (Jenna Bass) Wavelengths 2: Fluid Frontiers (8 shorts) Nina (Juraj Lehotsky) Sunday, 9/10 Hannah (Andrea Pallaoro) ¾ (Ilian Metev) Cocote (Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias) Wavelengths 3: Figures in a Landscape (7 shorts) Monday, 9/11 Angels Wear White (Vivian Qu) Jeannette, the Childhood of Joan of Arc (Bruno Dumont) Caniba (Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor) Wavelengths 4: As above, so below (4 shorts) Le Fort Des Fous (Narimane Mari) Tuesday, 9/12 Ex Libris - The New York Public Library (Frederick Wiseman) Outside In (Lynn Shelton) Zama (Lucrecia Martel) Dragonfly Eyes (Xu Bing) Wednesday, 9/13 Lean on Pete (Andrew Haigh) A Fantastic Woman (Sebastián Lelio) I Love You, Daddy (Louis C.K.) Scaffold (Kazik Radwanski) & Ta peau si lisse (Denis Côté) Thursday, 9/14 Professor Marston & the Wonder Women (Angela Robinson) First Reformed (Paul Schrader) Alanis (Anahí Berneri) Let the Corpses Tan (Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani) The Day After (Hong Sangsoo) Friday, 9/15 Dark River (Clio Barnard) Faces Places (Agnès Varda, JR)
  9. Darren H

    La Fille Inconnue / The Unknown Girl (2016)

    I hadn't seen the new release date. I guess I need to finish writing up that interview!
  10. Darren H

    Something, Anything (2014)

    Well, this is one step closer to happening. From the IFP week announcement . . . James is the Indie Spirit-winning producer of Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Listen Up Philip, and A Ghost Story. And you've probably already heard of Elisabeth Moss.
  11. Darren H

    Why is my website invisible?

    Go to Settings > Reading in Wordpress and make sure the "Discourage search engines from indexing this site" isn't checked. Your designer might have checked it when the site was under development (that's what I usually do) and then forgotten to uncheck it. Once you've done that, ask Google to recrawl your site.
  12. Darren H


    My friend Jordan wrote a great piece about Pat O'Neill recently and posted some compelling side-by-side comparisons on Twitter yesterday: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3.
  13. Darren H

    Paterson (2016)

    For the record, my tweets were an attempt to describe the scenario in realistic terms. Jarmusch always has one foot in reality, so I think that kind of description is not only fair but essential to understanding how the films work. I wasn't condemning the film. "It's about an emotionally co-dependent amateur poet in a not-altogether-healthy relationship" is a pretty great starting point for a film. Paterson, obviously, is about other things too.
  14. Darren H

    Paterson (2016)

    Isn't that the same thing as "desperately clinging for beauty?" I think you've loaded my comment with a lot more criticism than I intended. I also identify strongly with Paterson -- I'm working through PTSD and am a bit codependent and hyper-vigilant (to quote my therapist), which is why the film made me so anxious. Peter might not have seen my other Tweet last night because it was in conversation with someone: "It still might be really good -- just not in the ways I originally experienced it."
  15. Darren H

    Something, Anything (2014)

    Thought the Something, Anything fans might get a kick out of this. I had a nice dinner last week with Paul, Ashley, and Linds.