Friday, August 24, 2007

Tracking Henry and Fay

A friend, at an office where they do cool things like have movie outings, was going to one of the said movie outings this afternoon.

"Have you seen anything good?" he asked. "I guess I could check your blog."

Bourne Again
He'd already read my Bourne thoughts so I guess he would have been disappointed, and as you might notice if you scroll down, the blog this week has been devoted to pimping my audiobook. (H.G. Wells War of the Worlds newly available from iTunes or All major credit cards accepted.)

I haven't gone to the movies lately, but I've been watching DVDs of the fabulous Hal Hartley films Henry Fool and its new-on-DVD sequel Fay Grim, called The Empire Strikes Back of the series.

Henry: Portrait of A Mysterious Stranger
I'd never seen Henry Fool, though it was released in 1997, and I had a bit of a wait getting it via Netflix, but it was worth it.

It's long and quirky and brilliant with stage actor Thomas Jay Ryan wonderfully charismatic in the title role and supported by Parker Posey and James Urbaniak (voice of The Venture Brothers' father) as the siblings Grim.

Fool is an unpublished writer and braggart but in a good way and inspires Urbaniak's Simon Grim, a garbage man, to pen an epic poem that rocks the world when Fay leaks it onto the Internet.

Everything plays out in and around the Grim's neighborhood, where many other strange and offbeat characters pass through the narrative.

It all builds to a suitably ambiguous ending picked up in...

Fay, Wry Spy
It's six or seven years later when Jeff Goldblum and that kid from Kids as G-men enter Fay Grim's world.

They want her to go and find Henry (so much for the ambiguous ending). Did I mention she married him in the first film? She took back her maiden name.

Anyway, wearing a wonderfully spy-looking coat, she sets off to Europe and the Near East, encountering international quirky characters, dodging bullets and bad guys.

Even though it's slightly more accessible being a spy-thriller parody, Fay Grim is the weaker of the two flicks but still a winning effort that sheds new light on Henry and adds new meaning to his stack of composition books.

So unless a movie outing means a couple of hours away from the office, my suggestion - rent these, stay in and curl up with a healthy snack. If you're not, you know, going to buy the dramatized H.G. Wells War of the Worlds.

I give it three Sid heads out of four:

(No rights to Fay Grim image implied.)


Charles Gramlich said...

I didn't realize it was a horror film until I saw the "three Sid's heads out of four."

Actually, this sounds interesting, although I've never heard of it before.

Erik Donald France said...

Interesting, indeed. And congrats on your Audio-Book! My former co-worker Trent met Parker Posey and says she is very charming and cool. I believe it.

Sidney said...

Yeah, I guess my head makes it scary, Charles.

You know, I really like Parker Posey, Erik. I thought she was impressive even in "A Mighty Wind" where she's one of the New Christy Minstrels parody group. You don't realize it's her for the longest time.

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