Chatting With American Filmmaker, Hal Hartley

Earlier this month, I was able to meet and interview American Independent filmmaker Hal Hartley. He was in town as part of a special retrospective celebrating his remarkable career.

A quick summary: Hal Hartley burst onto the film circuit in the late eighties and early nineties, with films that helped launch the careers of stars such as Edie Falco, Parker Posey, Martin Donovan, and Michael Imperioli. In mid 2000s, he moved to Berlin where he made some short films (one of which you can watch below) and now he’s back in the US. I was able to catch his latest work, the 2011 release, Meanwhile.

Hartley is a very “under the radar kind of guy. He makes movies, and that’s all there is to it. No need for any fanfare. He scores his own films, but uses the name Ned Rifle instead of his own.

He had some good answers during the Q&A session he had with audience members following the Meanwhile screening and in his short on-camera appearance when I interviewed him. Check it out!

Hal Hartley Berlin Short Film Accomplice.

Meanwhile Trailer

Check out Hal Hartley’s website at‚

Press Release: CFI Celebrates Acclaimed American Indie Filmmaker, Hal Hartley

OTTAWA (January 24, 2013) €œ The Canadian Film Institute (CFI), in collaboration with the Embassy of the United States of America, is pleased to present American Possibility: The Cinema of Hal Hartley, a special retrospective celebrating the career of one of America’s greatest independent filmmakers of the past quarter century. Hal Hartley will be in Ottawa for the first three nights of the retrospective, February 1-3, to introduce and discuss his films with Ottawa audiences.

Renowned for his witty, articulate, sharp, often satirical and always compassionate films, Hal Hartley’s films have been showcased at film festivals such as Sundance, Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Rotterdam, Melbourne and Sydney. His films have helped launch the careers of some of today’s biggest stars, including Edie Falco, Parker Posey, Martin Donovan, and Michael Imperioli.

“Hal Hartley is one of the most impressive and idiosyncratic contemporary American film artists, says CFI Executive Director, Tom McSorley. “The CFI is proud to be bringing this critically acclaimed, internationally renowned American independent filmmaker to Ottawa. In total, the CFI will devote six nights of screenings throughout February and early March to this special retrospective:

  • February 1st: Meanwhile (2012) 7:00pm and Trust (1991), 9:00pm *

  • February 2nd: Possible Films: Hal Hartley Short Film Programme, 3:00pm *

  • February 3rd: Amateur (1994), 7:00pm *

  • February 27th: Henry Fool (1997), 7pm

  • March 1st: The Girl From Monday (2005), 8:30pm

  • March 2nd: Fay Grim (2006), 7pm

*Hal Hartley will be in attendance on dates marked with an asterisk (February 1, 2, 3).

All screenings will take place at the Auditorium at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, except for the ËœHal Hartley Short Film Programme,’ which will be presented at Club SAW, 67 Nicholas Street. Tickets are $12 for the general public and $8 for CFI members, seniors, and students and can be purchased on-site with the box office opening half an hour before the start of the film.