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Stop the Pounding Heart

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After missing it at a couple festivals, I caught up last night with Roberto Minervini's Stop the Pounding Heart, which I suspect would be of some interest to several around here. Looks like Ken has seen it, too. It's a fiction film that was made, I assume, in close collaboration with the small cast of non-professional actors, including a large family of home-schooling, ultra-conservative Christians in rural Texas. Maybe the closest analogue is Carlos Reygadas's Silent Light. Like Reygadas's film, this one is indebted visually to some of the greats of contemplative cinema--the WWII-era sequences in Mirror, especially.


I have a few issues with a scene or two; otherwise, I'm a big fan of this film. The last three sequences, in particular, are great. There's a scene between a mother and daughter that is an unbelievably complex portrait of the best and worst traits of their brand of Christianity (and a hundred other things besides), and it's followed by a formal move by the director that just killed me.


I'm now hoping to program it at our microcinema. It's the kind of film I want to watch with an audience and talk about. This trailer is awful, but it will give you a taste of the style.


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  • 2 months later...

First impressions.


Thanks so much for the recommendation, Darren. I actually found myself thinking more of Picnic at Hanging Rock than Silent Light, but both are close cousins to this. Overbay's As It Is In Heaven, too. If you'd told me he directed this, I'd have believed you.


Thanks for the offer, Ken. By the time I had time to give it good attention, Netflix offered it.

Edited by Overstreet



Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.


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  • 7 months later...

I just caught this and Silent Light was very much in my mind also.

FWIW this is the final part of Minervini's "Texas Trilogy" which reunites the actors from the two previous films The Passage and Low Tide.

I'm due to catch them both in the next week or two so I'll report back.


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