Directed by Hal Hartley

Directed by Hal Hartley

17 Episodes

Hal Hartley is a true independent, boasting one of the most idiosyncratic bodies of work in all of contemporary cinema. First emerging in the late 1980s and early ’90s with a fully formed sensibility on display in the barbed romantic comedies THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH and TRUST, he quickly became one of the most acclaimed voices on the indie circuit. But while many of his peers moved toward the mainstream, Hartley continued to cultivate his own decidedly personal methods. Marked by their deadpan wit, formal rigor, underground-rock soundtracks (featuring Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth as well as the director’s own compositions) and offbeat performances (from rising stars such as Adrienne Shelly, Parker Posey, Edie Falco, Martin Donovan, and Elina Löwensohn), his films are unmistakably his, preternaturally attuned to language, behavior, and the dynamics between his vividly drawn characters. This comprehensive retrospective offers a chance to immerse yourself in the droll, effortlessly cool, bracingly humanist work of an artist in a league of his own.

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Directed by Hal Hartley
  • Kid
    Episode 1


    Episode 1

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 1984 • United States
    Starring Janine Eriksen, George Feaster, Bob Gosse

    Hal Hartley’s thesis film at SUNY Purchase features a number of actors who would continue to appear in his films in the early 1990s. A young man attempting to leave town to find his estranged girlfr...

  • The Cartographer’s Girlfriend

    Episode 2

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 1987 • United States
    Starring Marissa Chibas, George Feaster, Steven Geiger

    A shy and introverted city surveyor has his quiet, scholarly world turned upside down when a young woman mysteriously appears in his apartment in this poetic, sometimes surreal look at male assu...

  • Dogs
    Episode 3


    Episode 3

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 1988 • United States
    Starring Ricky Ludwig, Mike Brady, Gary Sauer

    Bursts of canine aggression punctuate a portrait of three men confronting their friendship and failings.

  • Ambition

    Episode 4

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 1991 • United States
    Starring George Feaster, Hannah Sullivan, Rick Groel

    Hal Hartley chronicles a day in the life of a young artist who longs for professional success and the attention of beautiful women, but who encounters only frustration and violence.

  • Theory of Achievement

    Episode 5

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 1991 • United States
    Starring Bob Gosse, Jessica Sager, Jeffrey Howard

    Young, middle-class, white, college-educated, unskilled, broke, drunk. An aspiring writer tries his hand at real estate, selling Brooklyn as the next great art capital of the world.

  • Opera No. 1

    Episode 6

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 1994 • United States
    Starring Patricia Dunnock, Parker Posey, Adrienne Shelly

    Mistaken identities, miscast spells, and rollerblades abound in this comical mini-opera following the exploits of two goddesses interfering with the lives of mortals.

  • NYC 3/94

    Episode 7

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 1994 • United States
    Starring Dwight Ewell, Lianna Pai, Paul Schulze

    Hal Hartley chronicles the mundane circumstances of a city under siege.

  • Iris
    Episode 8


    Episode 8

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 1994 • United States
    Starring Parker Posey, Sabrina Lloyd

    Parker Posey and Sabrina Lloyd star in an experimental short set to the titular song by the Breeders.

  • The Other Also

    Episode 9

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 1997 • United States
    Starring Miho Nikaido, Elina Löwensohn, James Urbaniak

    A minimalist, atmospheric meditation on the theme of love focuses on reconciliation and forgiveness.

  • The New Math(s)

    Episode 10

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 2000 • United States
    Starring D. J. Mendel, Miho Nikaido, David Neumann

    An intricately choreographed fight breaks out over the solution to a math problem.

  • Regarding Soon

    Episode 11

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 2004 • United States
    Starring Hal Hartley

    Hal Hartley offers a behind-the-scenes look at the production of his play “Soon,” a work inspired by the 1993 events in Waco, Texas, involving the religious sect called the Branch Davidians and their collision with the U.S. Fede...

  • The Sisters of Mercy

    Episode 12

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 2004 • United States
    Starring Parker Posey, Sabrina Lloyd

    This documentary consists of footage shot between actual takes during the production of the short film IRIS, revealing the imagination, diligence, and patience that goes into composing a shot.

  • A/Muse
    Episode 13


    Episode 13

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 2010 • United States
    Starring Christina Flick

    An ambitious young actor comes to Berlin to convince an American expat filmmaker she must be his next muse.

  • Implied Harmonies

    Episode 14

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 2010 • United States
    Starring Jordana Maurer, Hal Hartley, Louis Andriessen

    Hal Hartley’s conscientious assistant in Berlin receives weekly letters from her boss and sends him the books he needs as he struggles in Amsterdam to stage Dutch composer Louis Andriessen’s ope...

  • The Apologies

    Episode 15

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 2010 • United States
    Starring Nikolai Kinski, Bettina Zimmermann, Ireen Kirsch

    A commercially realistic but artistically conflicted playwright lends his Berlin apartment to a young actor friend so she can rehearse her drama-school audition while he goes off to save his ...

  • Adventure

    Episode 16

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 2010 • United States
    Starring Hal Hartley, Miho Nikaido

    Hal Hartley and his wife, actor Miho Nikaido, travel to Japan to see her parents and reflect on twelve years of marriage, her career ambitions, and the adventures of growing older.

  • Accomplice

    Episode 17

    Directed by Hal Hartley • 2010 • United States
    Starring Jordana Maurer, Jean-Luc Godard, D. J. Mendel

    An artist-criminal far from home asks his assistant to pirate a rare videotape before the German Post Office Authorities come to confiscate it.