One the eve of the DVD re-release of The Unbelievable Truth I decided to peruse my shelves and look at the work of Hal Hartley.
He is one of my favorite directors and one of my chief inspirations as a filmmaker. His visual compositions (aided by longtime DP Michael Spiller), the smart philosophical dialogue, the lush dreamy soundtracks (from contributors like Yo La Tengo, PJ Harvey and Liz Phair) and an amazing company of actors (Martin Donovan, Robert Burke, Adrienne Shelly, Edie Falco, Thomas Ryan, Parker Posey, Bill Sage, Matt Malloy among others) were in such stark contrast with the mainstream Hollywood flicks of that (or any era). His films and were so incredibly different and unique (and funny!) from anything I’d every seen at the time.
So here are my picks of what films to watch first (or re-watch).
I didn’t include Ambition, Isis, Theory of Achievement or any of his more recent shorts. I don’t think of Surviving Desire or The Book of Life as short films.