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  • Writer's pictureHOT LITERATI

Nice Movies to watch with your Brother

Memory (2023), Michel Franco 𖤓 recc. via Mar 𖤓

9/10 ☆

For over ten years, I’ve attended the Chicago International Film Festival (even volunteering in high school so I could steal posters and tap dance in the empty Siskel theater between screenings). It is the sole most home-y aspect of Chicago for me. This fall, I was honored to grab two of the remaining tickets for the screening of Michel Franco’s Memory, which included a talk-back with Jessica Chastain’s film counterpart, Peter Sarsgaard. My older brother joined me, and we sat in the front, right hand section of the theater sniffling and watching each other from the corners of our eyes. The film itself was devastatingly beautiful, an entirely obscure love story. The kind you find while flitting through books at an estate sale, the bottom of the cigar box, the most precious and personal story to make sense of the world around you. The one request Sarsgaard made in his talk-back was, “When people ask what kind of love story, what the dynamic is,” he looked to the interviewer for recognition, he nodded, “Don’t tell them. It’s a love story. It’s personal, in the way your own love life is. Let them see on their own.”

The film is seemingly only available to rent for five to six bucks these days, but nonetheless, I encourage you to breathe, support independent cinema, and cough it the hell up.

300 (2006), Zack Snyder <3Hailo<3

I can't remember my first encounter with the movie 300. I've seen it many, many times. My brother always had a kinship for corporeal dramas. He described I am Legend to me in such visceral detail that I had nightmares. But 300, we watched together. He used to make up these games for me to play from his video games -- he'd pretend to be a dragon, giving me a rockband drumstick as a sword to slay him with. Or set up my Kim possible tent for me to go into to recharge and when I popped out it was "nighttime" and there was a new quest to go on. Of course, he grew out of these things first. But these will forever be my favorite Saturday mornings. Watching 300 felt like that. Like entering my brother's world and sitting in it with him. We'd recite the lines together and laugh and laugh and laugh, like he was training me. Giving me the grit my Mother always knew I needed. I quoted 300 in my Princeton application. The part where the guy cuts off the other guy's arm and goes "my arm!"... "it's not your arm anymore." I really really love 300 still. But I'm not sure if I love the movie or if I just love what it meant to me and my brother. I cried at the end. I always do, and I'm proud to belong to a fiercely loyal family. One that would face insurmountable conflicts for one another. One that has, and always will.


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