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Simple Men (1992)

Original Title : Simple Men
Director : Hal Hartley
Writer : Hal Hartley
Genre : Comedy
Drama
Country : Italy
Language : English
Producer : Jerome Brownstein , Hal Hartley , Ted Hope , Bruce Weiss
Music : Hal Hartley
Yo La Tengo
Photography : Michael Spiller
IMDB ID : 0105411
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poster for "Simple Men" by Hal Hartley (1992)
Simple Men (1992) - Hal Hartley
 

Starring

Robert John Burke Bill McCabe (as Robert Burke
Bill Sage Dennis McCabe
Karen Sillas Kate
Elina Löwensohn Elina
Martin Donovan Martin
Mark Bailey Mike
Chris Cooke Vic
Jeffrey Howard Ned Riffle
Holly Marie Combs Kim
Joe Stevens Jack
Damian Young Sheriff
Marietta Marich Mom (Meg
John MacKay Dad
Bethany Wright Mary
Richard Reyes Security Guard
James Hansen Prince Frank
Ed Geldart Cop at Desk
Vivian Lanko Nun
Alissa Alban Waitress
Margaret Bowman Nurse Louise
Jo Perkins Nurse Otto
Mary McKenzie Vera
Matt Malloy Boyish Cop
 

Plot

Bitter about being double-crossed by the women he loved, (and with the police after him to boot), Bill vows to seduce the next woman he sees, then throw her away. His brother Dennis, meanwhile, is equally determined to track down their long lost father, a revolutionary who has been in hiding for 20 years. For different reasons, both leave New York and head for Long Island, out of money, and short on ideas. D:"Long Island is a a terminal moraine." B:"What's that?" D:"It's the material left behind when a glacier recedes." D:" Gee, then what the hell are we waiting for?"
 

Comments

Sublime and heartfelt This is a beautifully made film that has dialogue that literally sparkles and puts 90% of Hollywood scripts to shame though that is admittedly not too difficult.I adore Hartley's use of language and the way he lets the actors perform in front of his camera. The post-drinking scene where they dance to Sonic Youth's Kool Thing is inspired cinema, also the scene where Donovan lists his decent bands 'the old Who'. The best scene is at the end though. I find it incredibly moving each time that this man who has constantly denied his feelings and fought his past is drawn to rest his head gently on the breast of the woman he has grown to love. Though surrounded by police the camera focuses only on his face as we hear the words 'Don't move' off-camera. Why would he move when he has finally found where he belongs? Immaculate framing, marvellous pace and a genuinely affecting story all combine to make this my second favourite Hartley film after 'Amateur' which is untouchable as far as I am concerned.
 
poster for "Simple Men"
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Simple Men (1992) - Hal Hartley
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