Since the late 1980s, Hal Hartley has challenged standards of realist narrative cinema with daring narrative constructions, character development, and the creation of an unconventional visual world. In this pioneering critical overview of his work and its cultural-historical context, Mark L. Berrettini discusses seven of Hartley's feature films, including The Unbelievable Truth, Trust, Simple Men, Amateur, Henry Fool, Fay Grim, and The Book of Life. Drawing on journalism, theories of representation, narrative and genre, and cinema history, Berrettini discusses the absurdist-comedic representation of serious themes in Hartley's films: impossible love, coincidence and human relations, extreme isolation, and the restrictions posed by gender norms. He looks at the films' consistently absurd tone and notes how these themes reappear within framing narratives that shift from the seemingly mundane in Hartley's earliest works to the vibrantly creative and fantastic in his later films. Employing close analysis and theories related to cinematic narrative and to realism, the book's critical appraisal of Hartley's films considers aspects of American independent cinema and postwar European cinema, antirealism, and minimalism. The volume concludes with a pair of in-depth interviews with the director from two distinct points in his career.
- Paperback | 136 pages
- 139.7 x 205.74 x 12.7mm | 204.12g
- 07 Jan 2011
- University of Illinois Press
- Baltimore, United States
- 21 black and white photographs
Other books in this series
"Berrettini makes a compelling, succinct argument for the importance of Hal Hartley's work and its engagement with cinematic realism. A much needed contribution to film scholarship."--J. J. Murphy, author of Me and You and Memento and Fargo: How Independent Screenplays Work
About Mark L. Berrettini
Mark L. Berrettini is an assistant professor of film studies in the department of theater arts at Portland State University, where he teaches in film history, theory, genre, and screenwriting.
Table of contents
Acknowledgments xi Efficiency, Estrangement, and Antirealism: The Films of Hal Hartley 1 Introduction 1 Biography 5 Families and Bombs: The Long Island Films 8 The Unbelievable Truth 8 Trust 15 Simple Men 23 Obscenity and Espionage; or, "The Long Island Era Is Done" 34 Amateur 34 Henry Fool 41 Fay Grim 49 The Apocalypse, Digitized 57 The Book of Life 57 Conclusion 68 Interviews with Hal Hartley 71 Filmography 95 Bibliography 109 Index 119