Henry Fool

Henry Fool

5.0 1
Director: Hal Hartley

Cast: Hal Hartley, Thomas Jay Ryan, James Urbaniak, Parker Posey

     
 

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Simon Grim (James Urbaniak) is a garbageman, and his life is about as unpleasant and uneventful as you'd expect given his profession; he doesn't much care for his work, he's treated with violence or contempt by most of the people in his neighborhood, and he shares a house with Mary (Maria Porter), his cranky, pill-head mother, and Fay (Parker Posey), his morally… See more details below

Overview

Simon Grim (James Urbaniak) is a garbageman, and his life is about as unpleasant and uneventful as you'd expect given his profession; he doesn't much care for his work, he's treated with violence or contempt by most of the people in his neighborhood, and he shares a house with Mary (Maria Porter), his cranky, pill-head mother, and Fay (Parker Posey), his morally suggestible sister. One day, Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan) appears; he claims to be a writer in the midst of a major project, entitled "Confessions," and needs a place to stay. Henry ends up moving in with Simon and his family, where he wastes no time in bedding both Mary and Fay, and encourages Simon to write in a journal. Simon begins to write in long torrents of words that surprisingly fall together into iambic pentameter; Henry tells Simon that what he's writing is poetry, and he's truly gifted. Simon seems dubious at first, but when several of Simon's pieces are posted on the Internet, he developes a huge and rabid following and is acclaimed as one of the great authors of our time. Henry, however, isn't able to get anywhere with his own book or his own life; as Simon's star slowly rises, Henry's orbit slowly sinks past the horizon.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
After years of toiling in cult obscurity, independent film darling Hal Hartley scored a measure of mainstream acclaim with Henry Fool, an expansive meditation on art, subjectivity, pop culture, identity, and influence. This story of a garbage man inspired to write prize-winning poetry by a depraved, would-be philosopher bears the hallmarks of a characteristic Hartley film: mannered performances, stylized dialogue, precise compositions, and deadpan humor. What's unusual about this Hartley effort is the scale. Working on a larger canvas, Hartley inflates his typically self-contained world, crafting a narrative that spans years and that covers a dizzying array of disparate themes. Not all the riffs cohere into persuasive points, and the film's ambitious reach at times leaves certain thematic forays underexplored. Nonetheless, the surfeit of ideas is breathtaking, as is Hartley's mastery of an idiosyncratic, minimalist style. Anomalous as it sounds, this thoughtful and rigorous film is Hartley's epic. This film won the best screenplay award at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/02/2012
UPC:
0043396411012
Original Release:
1997
Rating:
R
Source:
Sony Pictures Home
Sales rank:
54,018

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Thomas Jay Ryan Henry Fool
James Urbaniak Simon Grim
Parker Posey Fay Grim
Maria Porter Mary
James Saito Mr. Deng
Kevin Corrigan Warren
Liam Aiken Ned
Veanne Cox Laura
Jan Leslie Harding Vicky
Miho Nikaido Gnoc Deng
Gene Riffini Officer Bunuel
Nicholas Hope Father Hawkes
Diana Ruppe Amy
Chuck Montgomery Angus
Paul Greco Concierge

Technical Credits
Hal Hartley Director,Score Composer,Producer,Screenwriter
Keith Abell Executive Producer
Jerome Brownstein Associate Producer
Thierry Cagianut Associate Producer
Richard Greenberg Asst. Director
Steve Hamilton Editor
Jocelyn Joson Costumes/Costume Designer
Daniel McIntosh Sound/Sound Designer
Larry Meistrich Executive Producer
Steve Rosenzweig Production Designer
Michael Spiller Cinematographer
Daniel J. Victor Executive Producer

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