A ten-years-later continuation of Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool where Fay Grim is coerced by a CIA agent to try and locate notebooks that belonged to her fugitive ex-husband. Published in them is information that could compromise the security of the U.S.
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A language-layered rigmarole that's like an entire season of Homeland compressed into 2 hours. Its playful, quasi-dramatic construction recalls Jarmusch or Rivette—characters constantly find rabbitholes within rabbitholes, ciphers behind ciphers. A strange spin-off from the Hartley-verse.
Hartley revisited the characters from 'Henry Fool' with this seven years later tale that now follows Parker Posey's 'Fay' into the world of spies and terrorism to find her long absent husband. The dialogue crackles at times, the characters are offbeat and interesting and the music soars yet it is still a shadow of the director's earlier work. Worth the re-watch in anticipation of 'Ned Rifle' at TIFF this week.
I drank while watching. If I weren't mildly drunk, I'd have liked it less. Otherwise, clever. Too clever. I'm not surprised that his subsequent shorts are less verbal. Fay Grim is Hartley's verbal apotheosis.