Cover for berrettini: Hal Hartley. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

Hal Hartley

Examining a director whose work shrewdly eschews cinematic realism

Since the late 1980s, Hal Hartley has challenged standards of realist narrative cinema with daring narrative constructions, character development, and the creation of an unconventional visual world. In this pioneering critical overview of his work and its cultural-historical context, Mark L. Berrettini discusses seven of Hartley's feature films, including The Unbelievable Truth, Trust, Simple Men, Amateur, Henry Fool, Fay Grim, and The Book of Life.

Drawing on journalism, theories of representation, narrative and genre, and cinema history, Berrettini discusses the absurdist-comedic representation of serious themes in Hartley's films: impossible love, coincidence and human relations, extreme isolation, and the restrictions posed by gender norms. He looks at the films' consistently absurd tone and notes how these themes reappear within framing narratives that shift from the seemingly mundane in Hartley's earliest works to the vibrantly creative and fantastic in his later films. Employing close analysis and theories related to cinematic narrative and to realism, the book's critical appraisal of Hartley's films considers aspects of American independent cinema and postwar European cinema, antirealism, and minimalism. The volume concludes with a pair of in-depth interviews with the director from two distinct points in his career.

"Berrettini makes a compelling, succinct argument for the importance of Hal Hartley's work and its engagement with cinematic realism. A much needed contribution to film scholarship."--J. J. Murphy, author of Me and You and Memento and Fargo: How Independent Screenplays Work


Mark L. Berrettini is an assistant professor of film studies in the department of theater arts at Portland State University, where he teaches in film history, theory, genre, and screenwriting.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/56scx3ws9780252035951.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Cinematic Encounters - Cover
Cinematic Encounters

Interviews and Dialogues

Jonathan Rosenbaum

Subject to Reality - Cover
Subject to Reality

Women and Documentary Film

Shilyh Warren

Cinematic Encounters 2 - Cover
Cinematic Encounters 2

Portraits and Polemics

Jonathan Rosenbaum

Journal of Film and Video - Cover
Journal of Film and Video

Edited by Stephen Tropiano

Abbas Kiarostami - Cover
Abbas Kiarostami

Expanded Second Edition

Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and Jonathan Rosenbaum

Michael Bay - Cover
Michael Bay

Lutz Koepnick

Slapstick Modernism - Cover
Slapstick Modernism

Chaplin to Kerouac to Iggy Pop

William Solomon

Queer Timing - Cover
Queer Timing

The Emergence of Lesbian Sexuality in Early Cinema

Susan Potter