Henry Fool & Fay Grim (Hal Hartley & James Urbaniak in person!)

Winner of Best Screenplay at Cannes in 1998, Henry Fool is that perfect mix of chaotic energy and taut, meticulously constructed dialogue that makes auteur Hal Hartley so goddamn great. The story of a struggling novelist, a rising poet and an unlikely love affair, this uproarious drama (with a touch of thriller) plays with the very “Hartley” themes of failed expectation and unexpected redemption. As always, the writer/director takes his skilled cast (Parker Posey, Thomas Jay Ryan and James Urbaniak) to strange, new places –- with performances as deep and roiling as an oceanic abyss. Hartley later forged an unlikely sequel in Fay Grim, nearly a decade after Henry Fool‘s release. Here, we pick up on the trail of his rogue anti-hero via his beleaguered wife Fay (the fantastic Parker Posey) as she travels through Europe on the hunt for her fugitive husband. Shot almost entirely in tilted “Dutch angle” shots, the film is wonderfully off-kilter. Jeff Goldblum appears, sly and dry as ever, as the slick CIA agent who coerces a fragile Fay to investigate the increasingly labyrinthine mystery of Fool. As well, Posey gives the performance of her career, careening through a strange and dangerous world with an unshakable, glorious-to-watch naiveté.
Henry Fool Dir. Hal Hartley, 1997, 35mm, 137 min.
Fay Grim Dir. Hal Hartley, 2009, 35mm, 118 min.

Watch an excerpt from “Henry Fool”!
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Watch the trailer for “Fay Grim”!
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