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A Special Little Film

by Andrew Green

OK. To kick off my contributions to this movie blog, I'll just say that I have been obsessed with films my entire life, and in fact, ALMOST majored in film when I went off to college. Luckily, I didn't have the courage to go that far (no one I know who studied film actually works in the industry today), but the movie nerd in me never went away.

I'm constantly on the hunt for something interesting or different, which means I see a lot of indie films, and a whole lot of awful, awful horror films. Here, I'll be reviewing all of them, good or not. I thought that today I'd start with one of the former.  Below is my brief review for a little indie picture called Trust, which I happened to see on The Movie Channel one day when I was about twelve years old, and have loved ever since.

(1990 -- Directed by Hal Hartley, Starring Martin Donovan and Adrienne Shelly)

Netflix description:
"When high school dropout Maria Coughlin announces her pregnancy to her parents, her father drops dead on the floor. Her mother kicks her out of the house and her boyfriend dumps her, so Maria is left alone and homeless. This is when she meets Matthew Slaughter. Matthew is an educated high school graduate with a great talent for fixing electronic devices, but he can't hang on to a job because of his principled attitude towards quality. When Maria accepts Matthew's offer to help her, they begin to form a relationship with each other in which both of them begin to change." --

This is one of my favorite films. A moody, yet lovely little gem that relies on clever, insightful writing, and has the ability to both depress and inspire, depending on your mood. 

One of Hal Hartley 's earlier movies, Trust ought to be shown to every aspiring independent filmmaker as an example of how to produce something meaningful while still keeping it simple. Despite its admittedly low production values, this film explores so many aspects of human nature and relationships that one could spend days thinking it over. All you really need to know about the plot is that a collection of lost people interact with, and depend on, each other.

Trust shows that a good film can be made with little more than a camera, a script, and a few actors, as long as some thought is applied. I really wish there were more movies like this, and I recommend it to those who are open minded, and looking for something a little slower and contemplative.

It should also be noted that the star of this film, Adrienne Shelly,  was murdered in 2006, just as her film career was truly taking off (she directed the lovely Waitress  that same year). Having been a fan since her very earliest work (Trust was made in 1990), the news of Adrienne's death was pretty upsetting to me when it happened. At least she left behind some excellent movies.

Check out Trust if you can find it. DVD copies, I admit, are almost impossible to come by. 

Five out of Five.