MIFF 2007: The Hottest State




Just as the film was about to start, Ethan Hawke came on stage to introduce it. The film is based on the novel of the same name he wrote a few years back.

“When you’re young everyone keeps telling you to follow your dreams but when you’ve grown up, they get all offended if you even try.

I walked in expecting the film to be a visceral experience a la Before Sunrise or Before Sunset. But that wasn’t the case; which is not a bad thing per se. The film is extremely intense and emotional. The characters are very real and raw which make them easier to relate to and hence make it an uneasy film to sit through for some people.

William (loosely based on Hawke himself),an aspiring 20 year old ‘actor’ comes to New York to look for work. He meets Sara, an emotionally scarred ‘singer’ and the two fall in love and go through the motions. On the surface, this is a story about two artists finding love in a city where people like them are dime a dozen. But like in most cases, the disillusionment wears off and things get awry. Apart from this being a story about first love, it’s inherent pains and coming of age , it’s also a tale of closure. William longs for closure with his father (Ethan Hawke) who bailed on him as a kid. One of the most beautiful scenes in the film is the conversation with his mother played by Laura Linney. ”It’s amazing how many times you can find love”, she tells her depressed son.

Mark Webber as William was not exactly the perfect candidate for the role in my opinion but the other actors shine in this brilliant film, especially Catalina Sandino Moreno and Laura Linney as Sara and his mother respectively.

The soundtrack to the film by Jesse Harris is noteworthy and it’s the probably best I’ve heard in a while. The direction is pretty good in spite of a couple of editing faults. Ethan Hawke’s film is a flawed but commendable achievement.

For the discerning viewer, there is a cameo by Richard Linklater in the first half of the film.



13 Responses to “MIFF 2007: The Hottest State”

  1. @Presti: For someone like me who is seriously contemplating viewing some alternate film (read non-main stream movie), something like this is just perfect. But the simple fact that movies like this don’t even end up being screened is the only obstacle. None the less impressive stuff man.


  2. @Presti: Forgot to ask you something in the above post.

    “Do you have a fetish for ‘State’? ” Coz the other movie that you follow is another state thingie….Garden state..

    So its Garden State and now Hottest State….anyone else see where im going with this? πŸ˜€

  3. @Bentley:
    I see you Dude. I see you… πŸ˜‰

    By the way, what will our Coffee Movie (I hope you guys remember it) be called?
    The Caffiene State!!! πŸ˜›

  4. @Bentley Actually I have a thing for films where people are attached to a place…Garden State=New Jersey, Hottest State=Texas, Manhattan= well you get the drift.

    @Bips You know what? Caffeine State is not such a bad idea.

  5. @Bibin: Im gonna kill you for giving him the idea! i swear i will πŸ˜›

  6. @Presti: Subsequently, another friend of mine peering over the screen actually misread the third alphabet in ‘MIFF’ πŸ˜›

  7. 7 Ravenent

    @PS: I fear for your Mental State dude…

    @Bentley: Hmm… Entertaining libidinous thoughts about Stacy’s Mom, eh? πŸ˜‰

    BTW, apparently there’s a Christian parody of that song called ‘JC’s Mom’, about Jesus and Mary! πŸ˜€

  8. @Pre*:
    You know what? Caffeine State is not such a bad idea.
    😐 Pres*, my friend! How in the hell can you settle for such a stupid name??? 😐
    May be “Hottest Caffiene State”. πŸ˜€

    @Bibin: Im gonna kill you for giving him the idea! i swear i will πŸ˜›
    Well, fine with me.
    You might kill BIBIN heehee πŸ˜€

  9. @Ravenent Are you capable of framing a complete sentence without it containing a single pop culture reference? I wonder sometimes.

    @Bips We’ve drifted away from the content of the post as usual haven’t we? 😦

  10. @Pres*:
    You surprised?
    That’s why I call it “the Else-World Slashdot” πŸ™‚

  11. 11 Ravenent

    Are you capable of framing a complete sentence without it containing a single pop culture reference? I wonder sometimes.

    I take that as a compliment! πŸ˜€ Also, wonder no more, for I positively revel in being recognised at last as the true successor to the masters of pop culture! πŸ˜‰

    Actually, I look forward to the day when people will stop Groening and being such Dicks… When the hoi polloi will realise that those Moored in pop culture, such as yours truly, are not all total Freuds…

    So chill out, you Huckabees, drink a Miller Light and enjoy these Happy Days for verily, they may not return… These are, without doubt, the best days of our lives, so live each day as if it were your last. After all, there’s no fate but what we make for ourselves…

    BTW, I wonder when it is exactly that the the pop culture of today will become fossilised into the high-brow culture of tomorrow? Way I figure it, I better Bone up on the effervescent culture of this era so I can spend The Twilight Zone of my life being a cranky old fogey at age 42, living in my Fawlty ivory Tower, and repeating ad nauseam to The Young Ones and The B(o)rat Pack anecdotes about “the good ‘ole days”…

    So, plebes and plebettes, F.R.I.E.N.D.S and foes, I know it must Sound like Music to some ears and An Irritating Truth to others… To the intrepid former bunch I say – Forsooth! Don’t worry about the Impedimenta at all. Let us Veni, Vidi, Dormitory our way into HIStory and leave our mark upon The Sands of Time. Who’s with me? Who’s willing to cross over to the Darkseid and Dine in Hell Tonight, reviled now perhaps but certainly exalted 300 years hence, when they’ll Remember the Titans?


    “You don’t even know the time? Bah! And you dare call yourself one of the Watchmen?”

  12. @Ravenent I counted at least 15 references there. If you came up with that all alone…pure genius i say!

  13. 13 Ravenent

    Plagiarism is something I do not condone…

    BTW, I wasn’t noting down the number when I wrote that (it was pretty much stream of consciousness stuff!), but a hasty count right now reveals at least 26 references, although there might be a few thrown in for good measure inadvertently! πŸ™‚

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