Press

“Astonishing in its simple beauty, amazing performances, and hypnotic pace. The real thing.”

- John Waters, ARTFORUM INTERNATIONAL

“Shot on 16mm for just $50,000, with a nonprofessional cast, and five years in the making, Hamilton is a tribute to the power of observation and mood.” 

- V.A. Musetto, THE NEW YORK POST

“The crucial thing to know about director Matthew Porterfield’s feature debut, Hamilton, is that it’s fantastic. It meets world-class art-film standards often set but rarely met by indie filmmakers.” 

- Eric Allen Hatch, BALTIMORE CITY PAPER

“A delicate, meditative drama. [Hamilton] takes the time to let events unfold at their own pace, to linger over an image for long moments after the action has moved on, to give audiences the chance to digest and ponder what they’ve seen. There’s an honesty to the film that’s hard to resist.”

- Chris Kaltenbach, THE BALTIMORE SUN

“A minor miracle. Matthew Porterfield’s first film, barely an hour long, made for a pittance in his native Baltimore with nonprofessional actors on 16mm film, is one of the most original, moving, and accomplished American independent films in recent years. The story alone is touchingly simple — a teenage mother, about to leave town for a month, wants her baby’s young father to pay her a visit — but Porterfield’s genius is revealed above all in the way he brings it to life. Exquisitely composed, unfolding gradually, suffused with light and color, his tender yet unsentimental images convey the graceful rhythms and quiet sorrows of young lives on hold. Porterfield is a master of time: here, an eight-minute trip takes eight minutes, but its progress is rich in visual epiphanies. The film builds to an unlikely, wondrous chase, and leaves the viewer hungry for more, and eagerly anticipating what Porterfield, who is still in his twenties, will do next.” 

- Richard Brody, THE NEW YORKER

“Matt Porterfield directs in a near-subliminal style…his frequently wordless images capture mood and emotion with surprising effectiveness. [Hamilton] builds an ineffable sadness around the loneliness of teenage parenting and the disconnect between sex and its consequences.” 

- Jeanette Catsoulis, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Languid and frequently beautiful. Porterfield and cinematographer Jeremy Saulnier can find drama in something as small as the complex rhythm of children on a swing set.” 

- J.R. Jones, CHICAGO READER

“It recalls the films of Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, particularly Dust in the Wind. Eschewing cuts, dialogue and plot in general, it teeters between minimal storytelling and pure Warholian observation, and such deliberate reticence is easy to admire.” 

- Ben Keningsberg, TIME OUT CHICAGO

“A boldly minimalist feat of insinuation. The influences on Matthew Porterfield’s lovely, limpid Hamilton could be sassed as generally as Terrence Malick or Gus van Sant and more specifically, a laconic picaresque like David Gordon Green’s George Washington. Cinematographer Jeremy Saulnier has a fine and worthy eye.” 

- Ray Pride, NEWCITY CHICAGO

“Visual poetry aside, what makes Hamilton a treasure is its thoughtful, unsentimental fleshing out of lives often glimpsed (in movies and elsewhere) but rarely considered.” 

- Mark Holcomb, TIME OUT NEW YORK