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Theory of Achievement (1991)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Short  -  30 March 1991 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 303 users  
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This short film was packaged on video with Hartley's featurette "Surviving Desire." It affectionately examines the lives of a group of "young, middle-class, white, college-educated, ... See full summary »

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Title: Theory of Achievement (1991)

Theory of Achievement (1991) on IMDb 7/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jessica Sager
Jeffrey Howard
Elina Löwensohn
Naledi Tshazibane
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Storyline

This short film was packaged on video with Hartley's featurette "Surviving Desire." It affectionately examines the lives of a group of "young, middle-class, white, college-educated, unskilled, broke, drunk" Brookylnites who would love to make something of their lives -- assuming they can pay the rent first. Written by Ethan Straffin <straffin@xenon.stanford.edu>

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accordion | independent film

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Short

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30 March 1991 (USA)  »

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Waitress: I'm only a waitress on the outside.
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User Reviews

Much better than Ambition - but i still say the joke is over!
19 June 2004 | by (Oz) – See all my reviews

Its a disconnected series of electric scenes, interspersed with pretentiousness for comic purposes, mainly in the form of quotes read out loud.

I love the peculiar reality we get in Hartley's work. I think the style is funny, but I reinforce what i felt after Ambtion, that the joke is in danger of wearing very thin. The style calls more attention to itself and detracts from whatever version of his same old message Hartley is trying to express. And don't ask me whether there was a particular philosophical standpoint which emerges from this film - maybe if i saw it again it would be obvious - but after a while all the banal philosophy just becomes a mindless hubdrub, which i think is Hartley's intention. Only problem with that is - I create a piece of art where I poo in a public place, and am applauded in France for my originality, but a few weeks later I do the exact same poo in the exact same public place... but this time half as many art critics applaud...

Hartley gets big Kudos for thinking up this tone for cinema - but when you've seen it once, you've seen all there is to it.

Whichever Hartley film is the first one you see, you'll be impressed probably (unless you don't get it and think he didn't get the actors to talk like this on purpose!), and while this one is better than Ambition, i get less impressed the more I see.


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