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Hal Hartley$
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Mark L. Berrettini

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252035951

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252035951.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 November 2017

Efficiency, Estrangement, and Antirealism

Efficiency, Estrangement, and Antirealism

The Films of Hal Hartley

Chapter:
(p.1) Efficiency, Estrangement, and Antirealism
Source:
Hal Hartley
Author(s):

Mark L. Berrettini

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252035951.003.0001

This chapter presents a commentary on Hal Hartley's film career. It begins with a biographical sketch based on material included in interviews, reviews, and essays about Hartley's work, and an earlier version of his official website, possiblefilms.com. It then moves on to analyze seven feature films: The Unbelievable Truth (1989), Trust (1990), Simple Men (1992), Amateur (1994), Henry Fool, Fay Grim (2006), and The Book of Life (1998). These films show that efficiency, estrangement, and antirealism allow Hartley to chart the struggles of individuals against the ideological precepts that pertain to public and private behavior, responsible actions, “common sense,” and the cinematic conventions that support such ideologies. (e.g., romantic characters who will live “happily ever after”).These conflicts are often related to the restrictions posed by gender norms and are depicted as conflicts with authority figures. Hartley's male protagonists struggle to live up to popular ideals of heteronormative masculinity, control, and violent mastery of the world around them, while his central female characters break from heteronormative conceptions of women as mothers, caregivers, and/or sexual objects.

Keywords:   Hal Hartley, American filmmaking, film directors, Unbelievable Truth, Trust, Simple Men, Amateur, Henry Fool, Fay Grim

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