The Hal Hartley Thread

For those who grew up watching and enjoying John Hughes films, Hal Hartley would be the filmmaker they “graduated” to when going to college. These viewers would embrace Hartley has commenting on suburban American characters, but in a more sophisticated and serious way, while being humorous and accessible at the time. If Richard Linklater is the filmmaker for Generation X, Hartley is more of the independent filmmaker version of this.

Right now, the Criterion Channel is streaming most of Hartley’s films. This is a thread will be a repository for reviews, comments, and discussion about Hartley and these films.


Indiewire (8/16/23) interview

This is How I Expected Republicans to Act, Part 2

I had an earlier thread on this topic, focusing on the Lincoln Project folks and other Never Trumpers. Recently, several prominent Republicans (besides Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger) and former Trump officials have publicly criticized Trump in a way that would be earth-shattering, prior to 2016. Some of these individuals deserve opprobrium for their actions in the Trump administration (e.g., Bill Barr), others enabled, at least tacitly, also deserve strong criticism (e.g., Chris Christie, and even Liz Cheney)–but their public comments now are really important for the country.

Perhaps some believe their comments are a too late and likely won’t have impact. I disagree. While the comments likely won’t change the minds of hardcore Trump supporters, I think it could significantly impact casual news consumers. If former, high-ranking Trump administration officials and prominent Republicans criticize Trump and call out his lies, that undermines narratives that erode the trust in our elections and the DOJ, FBI, and the mainstream press. I believe this will be sway these casual news consumers and inattentive voters–groups that I believe are a large majority of the voters.

In this thread, I’m going to try and post videos, articles, and statements by these Republicans speaking out against Trump.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

In the past, I believed this was among the greatest movies ever made, even though I had nothing more than a vague understanding of the film. The cinematic quality of the movie–i.e., the combination of images and sound–by itself–was exceptional, and I didn’t feel an urgent need to discover a coherent interpretation of the film.

Well, I recently re-watched the film, and I do think I have a better understanding of the film, one that is significantly different. In this thread, I’ll present my current understanding of the film, but before I do, I wanted to mention a film random comments that don’t pertain to the interpretation.

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The Process is More Important Than The Results

In this year’s NFL draft, the Seahawks had a decision to make with pick number 5. They badly needed to upgrade their defensive line–and the most talented defensive linemen, Jalen Carter (and some argued the most talented player in the draft regardless of position) was available. However, Carter had a lot of red flags relating to his commitment to the game and legal issues, among other things. A cornerback, Devon Witherspoon, who Pete Carroll said was a rare talent and compared his instincts and understanding to Troy Polamalu, was also available. Additionally, Witherspoon checked off all the boxes in other areas. But cornerback wasn’t a position of need. The Hawks chose Witherspoon.

I agree with this decision, even if Carter turns out to a great player and Witherspoon does not. To me, the rationale behind the decision is sound, and this is what I care about and focus on. Results matter. If Carter is great and Witherspoon is not, that has serious ramifications for the Seahawks. But the team can’t control the results, not completely. They have more control over their decision making–and the process they rely on for making decisions (which includes the way the gather and analyze information). I believe process is more important not only because one has the most control, but if the process is good, that increases the likelihood for good results.

This not only applies to the NFL, but almost anything. (I wonder what it doesn’t apply to.) Here are some other examples:

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