Bitter about being double-crossed by the women he loved, (and with the police after him to boot), Bill vows to seduce the next woman he sees, then throw her away. His brother Dennis, ... See full summary »
After serving time for murder, Josh Hutton returns to his home town where me meets Audry Hugo. No one can remember exactly what Josh did, but they are all wary of him, especially Audry's ... See full summary »
Robert John Burke,
Isabelle is an ex-nun waiting for her special mission from God. In the meantime, she is making a living writing pornography. She meets Thomas, a sweet, confused amnesiac who cannot remember... See full summary »
Henry and Fay's son Ned sets out to find and kill his father for destroying his mother's life. But his aims are frustrated by the troublesome Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even his arrival in the lives of the Grim family.
When high school dropout Maria Coughlin announces her pregnancy to her parents, her father drops dead on the floor. Her mother kicks her out of the house and her boyfriend dumps her, so ... See full summary »
A series that is comprised of twenty-one monologues written by American playwrights which form a sort of fractured portrait of the American collective psyche. Ranging from the sad to the ... See full summary »
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 »
This short film was packaged on video with Hartley's featurette "Surviving Desire." It follows a day in the life of a young artist who longs for professional success and the attention of ... See full summary »
Bitter about being double-crossed by the women he loved, (and with the police after him to boot), Bill vows to seduce the next woman he sees, then throw her away. His brother Dennis, meanwhile, is equally determined to track down their long lost father, a revolutionary who has been in hiding for 20 years. For different reasons, both leave New York and head for Long Island, out of money, and short on ideas. D:"Long Island is a a terminal moraine." B:"What's that?" D:"It's the material left behind when a glacier recedes." D:"Gee, then what the hell are we waiting for?" Written by
Stuart Criley <email@example.com>
"There's no such thing as adventure. There's no such thing as romance. There's only trouble and desire." It's probably the best-known phrase of this movie, but actually it's a quote from 'Lang, Fritz''s movie _Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (1922)_. See more »
What is that thing?
That's the Blessed Virgin, Ned.
She's pretty, huh?
Not only is she pretty, but she's got a nice personality, and she's the mother of God.
See more »
This is one of Hartley's most successful films. Every aspect is perfect: the comedic timing, the pace, the direction, the framing, the whole thing just works. Hartley wrote the screenplay as well as directed. In trying to think what it is about Hartley's films (when they work) that seems so immediate to our lives, despite the fact that they are fantasies, I have evolved a theory. Wait for it. This is it. He is not merely filming caricatures of humans, he is filming caricatures of the human situation, and that is a different thing. Possibly the closest affinity he has within modern literature is Wyndham Lewis (THE APES OF GOD, etc.) One can go back further and think of Jonathan Swift. Hartley's tongue-in-cheek satire runs so deep, it could be called The Grand Canyon of Cartoon Land. His characters can sometimes be no closer to reality than Dick Tracy or Batman, but unlike those comic book creations, we seem to know them all too well: they are us. Every one of us has buried deep inside the capacity to become a Hartley character. That is the Hartley magic. He can see the invisible caricatures we can all become shifting around inside us like translucent leprechauns waiting to spring out of our frozen faces and commence frenetic action, action which can be catastrophic, even criminal, but certainly unpredictable. Hartley knows that buried deep within all the apparent certainties of human existence are infinite uncertainties. It is these he teases out, renders visible to us in deadpan comedic form, and wonders whether we will laugh uncontrollably or otherwise run away with the horror of recognition. In this particular film, Hartley decides to show men what they really think of women, and see if they recognise themselves. The amazing elfin creature known as Elina Löwensohn, proud as always to boast of being a Romanian ('A what??), given her chance, as always by Hartley, to proclaim her origins no matter what character she plays, is inevitably present. What actress ever born was made more perfectly for a Hal Hartley film than she? For she is both real and unreal at the same time, and apparently cannot help it. Transylvanian magic! Along the way, Hartley is able to make a sarcastic joke about the American obsession with baseball, by having a glowering and sullen character who 'is just a baseball player', having been 'the best shortstop America ever had', and now a cold and heartless criminal who does not even want to speak to his two sons who have found him at last after many years. Take that, baseball! The whole cast are superb, Robert Burke, Bill Sage, Karen Sillas, and the rest. As usual, Hartley's casting is impeccable. Watch this film, study its semi-penetrable gnomic humour, and marvel at the work of a master.
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