It’s great when you see a movie that made a really deep impression on you and then you watch it again and realise that it was not just the mood you were in first time round but that it is a really fabulous piece of art that will be a trusty companion for a long time to come. Such is my feeling having watched 35 Shots of Rum on DVD tonight. It is a very slow movie, not much of a plot, very little dialogue. It is ultimately a meditation on loss – possible losses, inevitable losses and how we deal with them. Do we use this fear to bring those we love closer to us or do we let this fear push them away? It is one of those movies where certain scenes stay with you: the scene where the 4 main characters are in a bar late at night dancing to ‘Nightshift’ by the Commodores is one of the most powerful scenes I have watched. There is no dialogue but entire histories and hopes and fears unfold for us. It is achingly moving. The director Claire Denis also touches on solitude. Why are so many people lonely nowadays? Maybe, as one character suggests, we are all afraid of suffering. We know that sooner or later those closest to us will leave us, so why bother? Why not just avoid painful attachments? One of the characters finds his cat dead – died in its sleep after 17 years. He responds by putting it in a bin bag (along with its toy). And why not? It’s dead – why mourn for it? We all die, we all lose those closest to us. These are the big questions that Denis poses. The characters in the movie provide a range of answers, including suicide. How are we to live? This movie does not shy away from such questions, but addresses them subtly and profoundly. It is an absolute gem.