Review of Trust

Trust (1990)
Top 100 of All Time
28 July 2010
Hal Hartley's film TRUST is one of the top 100 achievements in the history of cinema. Hal, if you ever visit this site and see this statement I hope it makes you feel good. A d-girl in LA (development person in Hollywood) at a party once showed me a bookshelf at her home that contained her 10 or 15 favorite screenplays of all time... KANE, CHINATOWN, ... and one of my old screenplays (!)(she didn't know I was the author) and yeah... that makes you feel pretty damn good.

So why does TRUST work so well? Maybe it's alchemy... getting sorta the right combination in the right quantities of abstraction, hyper-realism, irony, and distance. Hartley plays with archetypes and yet makes them singular. (That ain't easy.) It's like reading Theodore Dreyer filtered by Bertolt Brecht, or running into a Long Island Godard, but the fun version of Godard before he became too p-ssed off at the world.

Hartley will stage a scene that you've seen a thousand times before, almost as genre commentary or put-on, then morph it into something you have NEVER seen before. Come to think of it, although Hartley is often thought of as the American Godard, at times he could almost be the American Bunuel (sorry Mr. Lynch).

It would be easy to hate some of the characters in Hartley's TRUST, but Hartley doesn't. He may hate the situations, the contexts, the environments... but he certainly has no hatred for the people.

It's a great love story and a quasi-homage to PIERROT LE FOU.

It contains multitudes. It is a great film.
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