Hal Hartley

Hal Hartley

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No Such Thing Review


Good
I bet there's a really cool backstory behind No Such Thing. Its premise is so bizarre (but what Hal Hartley film isn't?) that it's either the work of a genius or a madman. Knowing Hartley's work, the jury's still out on that one.

Sarah Polley, an exquisite actress, stars as a young journalist-wannabe named Beatrice (in pigtails, natch) who flies to Iceland to locate her boyfriend, who has gone missing along with his entire TV crew. Her plan crashes, she undergoes surgery to get fixed up, then continues on to Iceland where she discovers the fate of her guy: He was killed by a monster (played by Robert John Burke) who lives like a hermit in an abandoned building.

Continue reading: No Such Thing Review

The Book Of Life Review


Excellent
After six feature films shot with the same "too hip to smile" minimalist approach, critic's darling Hal Hartley really needed to shake things up. Shot on hand-held digital video as part of the France Collection 2000 series, The Book of Life is that project, a shaggy dog guffaw at the end of the millennium.

Miles away from what we critics enjoy referring to as "visually austere" (i.e., static shots with careful compositions), The Book of Life throws caution to the wind. Working with new cinematographer Jim Denault (Boys Don't Cry) instead of old standby Michael Spiller (Trust), Hartley spins and fusses in colorful blurred abstractions, creating a dreamy, impressionistic look with none of his trademark hard edges. Look, ma -- no hands!

Continue reading: The Book Of Life Review

Hal Hartley

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Hal Hartley Movies

No Such Thing Movie Review

No Such Thing Movie Review

I bet there's a really cool backstory behind No Such Thing. Its premise is...

The Book of Life Movie Review

The Book of Life Movie Review

After six feature films shot with the same "too hip to smile" minimalist approach, critic's...

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