By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act November 3, 2011 at 3:03AM
I've never been a big fan of the films of hermetic indie filmmaker Hal Hartley, even though he was once considered one of a handful of young trailblazing auteurs back in the late 80s/early 90s, along with the likes of Gus Van Sant, Todd Haynes and others, who were producing esoteric, smart, cheaply-made arty films that appealed to a small, tightly-knit, proud subculture of young (mostly white) film lovers; films that defined his auteurist style, like The Unbelievable Truth and Trust, which featured some of the earliest performances by actors like Eddie Falco, and Henry Fool years later.
But, like his contemporaries, he's definitely what you'd call an acquired taste; the last film of his I watched was The Girl From Monday (2005), and I couldn't get through it. However, I'll say that, despite my struggles with the man's work, I appreciate his attempts to disrupt the expected order of things. They aren't "bad" films; just not for me.
And the new trailer for his latest effort doesn't do a lot to change any of that.
It's called Meanwhile, a film I previously profiled on S&A, thanks to the involvement of Hoji Fortuna (profile HERE), the Angolan actor who most of us were first introduced to this year, in his riveting performance as villain in Djo Tunda Wa Munga's hit gangster flick, Viva Riva!.
Mr Fortuna co-stars in Hartley's Meanwhile, as a character named "Otis" (in the photo above), and thanks to him, I now know what the film's official synopsis is.
... concerns Joe Fulton, a man who can do anything from fixing your sink to arranging international financing for a construction project. He produces online advertising and he’s written a big fat novel. He’s also a pretty good drummer. But success eludes him. For Joe can’t keep himself from fixing other people’s problems. His own ambitions are constantly interrupted by his willingness and ability to go out of his way for others.
The film is currently in post-production, as Hartley continues to raise money to complete the audio mix and to prepare for its eventual release strategy.
Hoji also informed me that it will be making its world premiere at the Plus-Camerimage Festival in Poland (November 26 thru December 3), as part of a complete retrospective of Hal Hartley's work.
If we have any readers in Poland (we have readers all over the world!! :)), let me know and maybe we can get you into the fest to see Meanwhile, or any of the other titles scheduled to screen there. Visit the festival's website HERE for more info.
Watch a preview of Meanwhile below; and if you'd like to contribute to its completion funds campaign, click HERE for its Kickstarter page; $40,000 is the goal, with just over $15,000 raised thus far, and 27 days to go.