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The Films of Hal Hartley
full name / name of organization:
Steven Rybin / Georgia Gwinnett College
I am currently accepting essay proposals for a new collection on the films of Hal Hartley, tentatively titled HAL HARTLEY: AMERICAN FILMMAKER. An academic press has shown strong interest in publishing this collection.
Hal Hartley is one of the celebrated figures of American independent cinema. His early films, including THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH, TRUST, SIMPLE MEN, AMATEUR, and FLIRT, established Hartley as an American auteur engaged with the poetics of cinema and the politics of American culture. While other American filmmakers regarded as “independents,” such as Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith, quickly assimilated into the mainstream film industry, Hartley remained a self-reliant producer and director through his own production company, while also forging relationships with distributors such as Sony Pictures Classics and Magnolia Pictures. Shifting his focus from America to the globe in recent films, including FAY GRIM and a variety of short works, Hartley’s output has also engaged new styles of digital cinema. This collection will seek to explore the various themes, styles, and evolutions of Hartley’s work from multiple perspectives.
Contributors are invited to write about Hartley’s work with passion and precision. The question of writing is one of Hartley’s most important themes, and this book will seek to find new ways of writing about Hartley’s films that evoke and engage with the unique poetics of his films and his singular vision of the world.
Some possible topics include, but are not limited to:
*Hartley as writer and the motif of writing in his work
*Hartley’s eye – his framing, his cutting, and his mise-en-scène
*new readings of Hartley’s celebrated films, including THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH, TRUST, SIMPLE MEN, AMATEUR, and FLIRT
*Hartley’s relationship to American independent cinema
*the roles gender, sexuality, class, and whiteness play in Hartley’s cinema
*the function of place and land/cityscape in the films, and the shift to a global mise-en-scène in the recent work
*Hartley’s various influences and predecessors, from Howard Hawks to Jean-Luc Godard to Robert Bresson and others
*Hartley’s relationship to both art cinema and Hollywood classicism as modes of narration and as styles
*the aesthetics and functions of performance in Hartley’s work
*Hartley’s use of the Internet as filmmaker and producer, including his maintenance of the Possible Films website
*the relationship between HENRY FOOL and its 2006 sequel, FAY GRIM
*Hartley’s most recent films, including MEANWHILE, and his return to NYC filmmaking
*representations of the working class in Hartley’s work, and the relationship of these representations to his aesthetic ambitions
*Hartley as a philosophical filmmaker, and the relationship of his films to current debates in the film-philosophy subfield
Abstracts of between 300-500 words should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 1, 2013. Deadline for final essays is pending, but anticipated deadline will be October 1, 2014. Accepted contributors will be advised about word count limits upon acceptance of abstract.