Ned Rifle is the third and final chapter of Hal Hartley’s tragicomic epic which began with Henry Fool (1998) and continued with Fay Grim (2007). At once a saga concerning the Grim family of Woodside Queens and how their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of the self-proclaimed genius, Henry Fool, the trilogy is also an illustration of America’s grappling with ideas, art, politics, and religion over the course of twenty years. In this swiftly paced and expansive conclusion, Henry and Fay’s son, Ned, sets out to find and kill his father for destroying his mother’s life. But his aims are frustrated by the troublesome, sexy, and hilarious Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even his arrival in the lives of the Grim family. A funny, sad, and sexy adventure, Ned Rifle is an intellectually stimulating and compassionate satire. Hartley is an American filmmaker who attracted considerable attention in the early 1990’s with such films as Trust (1990), Simple Men (1992), and Amateur (1994) featuring Isabelle Huppert, often cited for their dialogue that is both humorous and philosophical. He has made twelve feature films, won awards at Cannes and Sundance, and staged theater and opera on occasion. He runs his company, Possible Films, from his base in New York City. Director Hartley joins us for a conversation on filmmaking, music and his desire to challenge an audience with his own approach to satire, conflict and redemption.
*** Friday, April 3, 8:00 pm Cinefamily (Los Angeles premiere) An Evening with Hal Hartley featuring NED RIFLE. Join Hal Hartley, and film stars Aubrey Plaza, James Urbaniak, and Liam Aiken in attendance for Q&A
“(W)hen the writer-director is on his game, as he is in “Ned Rifle,” the effect is bizarre black comedy that is designed to set you thinking about what his satire is really saying.” – Betsy Sharkey, LA Times
“Like the best of Hartley’s work (“Fool,” “Trust,” “Simple Men”), “Ned” leaves behind little bits of wisdom.” – Joe Nuemaier, New York Daily News
“For all the evident despair, Hartley can’t repress his love of cinema; the comic dialogue sings and many of the images have a fragile beauty.” – Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
“Move over, Boyhood. And less Boyhood than perhaps Boy In The Hood, Hal Hartley completes his bio-trilogy half a dozen years longer than Linklater’s decidedly conventional odyssey – an infinitely more dark and daring, toxically tantalizing suburban noir.” – Prairie Miller NewsBlaze