Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Hal Hartley - Possible Films|
Actor: Possible Films-Hal Hartley
Director: Hal Hartley
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
A Very Mixed Bag
Jim M. | Springfield MA | 06/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the early 90's, Hal Hartley was one of my favorite filmmakers. THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH, TRUST, and SURVIVING DESIRE I would name as three of the greatest films of the 90's. I loved his films and would drive two hours to the closest theatre playing them. Although, I have to admit, after AMATEUR, I felt they started to decline in quality. I have not been a fan of his recent films, even though I still love those early ones.
This DVD collection is made up of six of his short films made between 1994 and 2004. They vary in length and quality. The shorts are:
OPERA NO. 1: (5/5 stars) - This is a fun one, sort of Hartley's take on WINGS OF DESIRE. An eight minute opera starring Parker Posey and Adrienne Shelly (Adrienne Shelly!!!! Still his greatest actress. I hope they work together again one day). They are roller blading angels, trying to fix up a couple.
THE OTHER ALSO (0/5) - Two people, out of focus stand in a room while music and sound effects are heard on the soundtrack. An attempt at avant-garde filmmaking that fails.
NEW MATH(S) (1/5) - A misfire. A wordless short of three people fighting over a math problem in a classroom.
NYC 3/94 (1/5) - This one doesn't really work either. Shot on video of three people on the streets of NY.
SISTERS OF MERCY (5/5) - A must for all Hartley fans. Parker Posey and Sabrina Lloyd (SPORTS NIGHT, ED) are in an apartment, speaking typical Hartley dialogue back and forth in this shot on video fifteen minute film. But, what makes this so interesting, and a must for his fans is that the film appears to be unedited (is this a mistake????). You hear Hartley in the background, running lines with the actresses, trying to set up shots in interesting ways. Even all the small talk between Parker and Sabrina. It is fascinating to watch, both because of the actresses and because of the insight into Hartley's filmmaking process.
KIMONO (0/5) - This one never seemed to end (at 25 minutes, the longest on the DVD). A bride (played by Hartley's wife), runs out of a car in her wedding dress. She runs through the woods, losing her dress in the process until she winds up at a cabin in the wood where she finds a Kimono. Two women, forest spirits or something, watch her. Just ridiculous.
The DVD also contains an interview with Hartley and clips from an avant-garde play of his SOON.
So, a very mixed bag. Several of Hartley's earlier films are missing from this DVD (two appear on the SURVIVING DESIRE DVD which is a must buy, but there are several made before TRUTH that have been written about a lot that are not on it). I would have liked to have seen them. But, as far as this DVD goes, SISTERS OF MERCY and OPERA alone make it worth the purchase.
Essential for Hartley fans
Arthur Martin | Toledo, OH United States | 07/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hal Hartley is smart enough to use the short-film form to experiment and express his least commercial ideas (not that his features have set box-office records, but whatever) -- instead of to just make short stories.
Because of this experimentation, some of the shorts are abstracted to the point of incomprehensibility... and not in a good way.
The highlights are the martial arts-modern dance fugue thriller THE NEW MATH(S); THE SISTERS OF MERCY, a kind of making-of of an otherwise nonexistant movie (which begs the question whether the outtakes seemed more interesting than the intended footage, or whether SISTERS OF MERCY was always intended as a deconstructionist piece); and the excerpted play SOON, which -- unlike many of the shorts -- has some of Hartley's fine wordplay and some intriguing acting.
Quite different from most of his features, but also with an innate familiar quality that could belong to only one filmmaker."
Arty, clever, but still cinema
Dominique Caron | FRANCE, Europe | 01/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rather an art exhibition thant usual movie product, this collection perfectly reflects Hal Hartley'work ; brilliant framing, excellent actors, philosophical or political stories... it will definitely suit best those that dont mind a bit of thinking"