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Robert John Burke,
Socially inept garbage man Simon is befriended by Henry Fool, a witty roguish, but talent-less novelist. Henry opens a magical world of literature to Simon who turns his hand to writing the 'great American poem'. As Simon begins his controversial ascent to the dizzying heights of Nobel Prize winning poet, Henry sinks to a life of drinking in low-life bars. The two friends fall out and lose touch until Henry's criminal past catches up with him and he needs Simon's help to flee the country. Written by
Josh Mueller <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'll bet you a dollar you haven't seen a movie like Henry Fool.
Its not that its groundbreaking in the way it tells its story, or that its story is that unusual - its tricky to put your finger on which element makes Henry Fool so unique, but as a whole the work is very unique indeed. If i had to give you a reason why this felt so new to me, was that i'd never seen a movie entirely devoted to literature before, the power of poetry in particular. I found it quite refreshing.
Hartley has gone for an atmosphere of strangeness, a kind of artificiality which still rings true, and it works completely. Henry Fool (the character whose nature this movie is an investigation into, which takes the narrative form of his walking into the lives of a low-class suburban family, especially disaffected garbage-man and potential poet Simon) talks and behaves like what he imagines himself, which is the roguish hero of some tragic, romantic Shakespeare play, and a kind of difficult genius. But is he a genius for real? Is this "confession" he's writing, his life's work, a masterwork, or a piece of sh*t? Henry affects the lives of a small group of great characters in Simon's local neighbourhood, all drawn with marvellously light brushstrokes, and all seeming like imagined, literary beings, yet still very human. But is he a good influence or a bad influence on this neighbourhood?
I can't predict whether you'll like Henry Fool or not - all i can tell you is that i found it captivating and original to the last.
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