Sunday, May 1, 2011

Surviving Desire

Martin Donovan is a litterature professor falling for one of his students. Directed by Hal Hartley.

Ah, Martin Donovan... It's still strange to see him in films or tv shows not by Hartley, even though it's been years since the last time they worked together. And Hartley sure is good at finding these gorgeous, interestinglooking actresses for his films. Adrienne Shelly, Elina Löwensohn and here Mary Ward. In usual fashion there are no establishing shots, the characters say out loud what they think or share deadpan conversations. Even breaking out in a spontaneous dancenumber to express their feelings. It's a short film, only 55 minutes, but has the charm of his early feature films. It asks a lot of questions: What does love mean? Will you find out in books? and doesn't really give any answers except maybe "Knowing is not enough."


  1. I totally agree about Donovan. Hartley created a persona for him, the way Gary Cooper or James Stewart had personas in classic Hollywood, and it was consistent from film to film, whether he was a neurotic engineer, a jealous fisherman, an angsty professor or an amnesic pornographer.

    Hartley's career after Henry Fool breaks my heart.

  2. And don't get me started about Adrienne Shelly

  3. I was hoping for a scene of Martin Donovan punching Al Pacino in Insomnia.