One of the most significant contributors to the American independent cinema that developed over the late 1980s and 1990s, Hal Hartley has throughout his career created films that defy convention and capture the stranger realities of modern American life. The Cinema of Hal Hartley looks at all of Hartley's film releases - from cult classics such as The Unbelievable Truth and Trust to oddball genre experiments such as No Such Thing and Fay Grim to short films such as Opera No. 1 and Accomplice - and makes a case for seeing Hartley as an important and successful American auteur, despite the director's decline in status in the later stages of his career.
Employing both industrial and close textual analysis, the book considers aspects of Hartley's work such as genre, gender and form, as well as dimensions far less frequently discussed in studies of indie directors, such as place and cultural identity, offering a broad and innovative study of a productive filmmaker who continues to show a singular disregard for the expectations of both the mainstream and the indie cinema industries.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
Finally, a book about quintessential, and maverick, American independent auteur Hal Hartley! Sebastian Manley cogently analyzes Hartley's anomalous, low budget, 'smart' films, covering both his Long Island suburban films-The Unbelievable Truth, Trust, Simple Men-and more urban, more global works-Flirt, Henry Fool, Fay Grim, and others. That Manley also studies Hartley's independent shorts constitutes a refreshing, much needed, addition to discussions of how 'indie' careers evolve, and why independent film survives. Hartley's distinctive approach to the business of film production, coupled with his iconoclastic stylistic and narrative choices, distinguish his work, as Manley carefully demonstrates, from that of other independent filmmakers, chief among them David Mamet, Jim Jarmusch, Kevin Smith, and Richard Linklater, as does his creative presence not just as writer/director, but also often as composer, producer, and editor. Eminently readable, with two revelatory interviews with Hartley collaborators appended as a bonus, The Cinema of Hal Hartley is a welcome, and long overdue, appraisal of one of the most important contributors to contemporary independent film. -- Chris Holmlund, Arts and Sciences Excellence Professor, Cinema Studies, Women's Studies and French, University of Tennessee, US
An excellent and authoritative study of the films of Hal Hartley, offering substantial new insights into the distinctive qualities of his work and key aspects of the wider independent context in which it is situated. -- Geoff King, Professor of Film Studies, Brunel University, UK
Sebastian Manley's study of Hal Hartley is an exemplary analysis of a quintessential American independent filmmaker, weaving together production and reception background with trenchant readings of the films. It is especially insightful in considering Hartley's investment in place and its development across his career. -- Michael Z. Newman, Assistant Professor, Journalism, Advertising, & Media Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, US
A most welcome contribution to the scholarly work on Hal Hartley, a filmmaker who has been, until recently, somewhat neglected in academic writing on independent cinema. This book examines Hartley's auteur status and places his work within the broader context of American independent cinema, offering important observations on the key points of departure which distinguish Hartley's films from the more frequently studied examples of commercial indie. An interesting, accessible and engaging account, The Cinema of Hal Hartley will be a valuable addition to reading lists for students of American independent cinema. -- Claire Molloy, Professor of Film, Television and Digital Media, Department of Media, Edge Hill University, UK