kathryn’s review published on Letterboxd:
feeling on a real big ethan hawke kick lately. i don't know that i really have the knowledge or motivation to rank him as a modern actor but i think his perspective and wisdom wrt life and art are so valuable and so resonant.....i was watching this interview from tiff a few years ago this morning and they started talking about dead poets society and i decided i had to watch it today so drove to the library at 10am to go borrow it and idk. ethan hawke is the kind of guy to say that that indulgence in appreciating art is something important to cultivate in yourself.... i watched an interview with him when the northman came out it was probably a gq retrospective or something where he talked about how happy he was to be able to play hamlet while he was still in his 20s, and i watched a rolling stone interview where he said in this period of his life he was afraid of being a casualty of child acting and that keeping his ego in check was life saving... iiiii don't know. i just think it's wonderful to have someone with such a long and illustrious career whose motivation is to explore his own creativity and improve at things he cares about and experience new things toward the end goal of building understanding. i looooove ethan hawke.
so having been in that ^ state of mind for a few days this was a lovely movie to watch. ethan hawke aside i think it's so unpretentious and smart while also being about exploring poetry and finding meaning in art & life which is hard to balance, the boys are curious and shy and boisterous and stupid and pushed into corners and pursuing things for the sake of the pursuit and the way i see it it's a brilliant way to depict a journey to self actualization. there's a song ive been listening to a lot lately by the national that's kind of painfully upper middle class and this movie is basically the same, you're watching all of these rich white men who have started out on the easy path to success who have the luxury to hide out with each other and read poems and do nothing & sometimes it can feel kind of ridiculous to interrogate their problems as real things that matter, but i think the movie handles it well... issues of isolation and squashed identities and conformity conformity conformity are at the center of the movie and if you're not sympathetic to it it's fine but i do think there's a worthwhile point made by keating about the importance of men in these students' positions to be empathetic and passionate and to think for themselves, as much as anyone else or more so. if you're going to end up on top either way wouldn't it be better for you to get practice defying tradition? i also think it's a brilliant takedown of education systems based in punishment or even schools as they're largely set up today as places which funnel students place to place without an emphasis on cultivating passion or creativity and which bend to the will not of the people being taught but of the parents who know all because they pay for it all...man. this movie spoke to me today bro.
anyway. art is important and so is being alive. going to marathon some ethan hawke movies now. #hawkathon