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Henry Fool [VHS] [1998]


Price: £12.95
Only 2 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by unclejohnsband.
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£12.95 Only 2 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by unclejohnsband.

Product details

  • Actors: Thomas Jay Ryan, James Urbaniak, Parker Posey, Maria Porter, James Saito
  • Directors: Hal Hartley
  • Format: PAL, Dolby, Surround Sound, Colour
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar home Entertainment
  • VHS Release Date: 1 July 2002
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009PA6C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 357,828 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Hal Hartley gathers together another cast of oddballs and eccentrics for this quirky adult comedy. The lives of shy dustman Simon Grim (James Urbaniak), his depressed mother (Maria Porter) and his nymphomaniac sister (Parker Posey), are thrown into disarray when Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan), a self-styled intellectual and raging egomaniac, arrives in their home. Henry encourages Simon to express himself through poetry and in doing so unwittingly unleashes a new literary force in the world. But while his protegé's obscene verse is met with immediate acclaim, Henry's own literary efforts flounder in obscurity.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 May 2007
Format: DVD
One tries not to throw the word brilliant around too often, as doing so robs the word of any meaning, so I am quite sincere when I bestow the word brilliant on this remarkable film - after all, what is artistic brilliance if not the ability to call forth beauty from the midst of ugliness? This story takes place against a depressing backdrop of poverty, desperation, and dysfunction. Simon Grim (James Urbaniak) works as a garbage man, endures physical attacks on the streets, and comes home each night to a thoroughly dysfunctional family. His mother is obviously depressed and, at times, nonresponsive, while his sister Faye (Parker Posey) is irresponsible and only interested in fulfilling her own [...] needs as often as possible. Simon himself seems anti-social if not mentally challenged. Then a stranger named Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan) shows up and changes everything. He has a magnetic personality, albeit one that pushes some people away while drawing others in, and he befriends Simon. Beaming literary pretentiousness, Henry goes on and on about his personal memoirs (or confessions), which he assures Simon will revolutionize the world and society when they are completed and published. When Simon begins following Henry's lead, he produces a new kind of poetry, one which Henry hails as cutting-edge and revolutionary. While his mother and sister ridicule him, Simon is encouraged by Henry to keep writing, rightly pointing to some amazing changes that occur in individuals who read a sampling of his work. Critics initially hail his great poem as poorly written and [...] (the ultimate put-down), yet Simon perseveres through doubt, tragedy, and controversy, eventually meeting with great success - which changes the lives of these characters irrevocably.Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Jun 2000
This film discusses, in Hal Hartley's typical quirky manner, the essence of art. The film starts with the arrival of gift-of-the-gab stranger Henry Fool to rent the dark basement room of a suburban house. He is shown in by Simon Grim (Urbaniak), the reputedly slow elder son who is limited to a career as a garbarge collector, and who lives with his tranquilised mother and sister (Parker Posy) who doesn't seem to do anything. When Simon tells Henry that people think he is slow, he is given an exercise book and told to write whatever he feels unable to say in it. Simon duly fills the book and collapses in an exhausted sleep. What then follows is Fool's campaign to get the 'poetry' within the book, published. By sticking pages up in the local store for all to read, emotions are fired as people are disgusted at the pornography, drop-out kids are tempted into politics, and Fool and Grim's notoriety and fame increases. The film is a highly entertaining, witty and amusing look at what makes something art: is it just well managed hype or is content important? Every character has a strong development, including people you thought you hadn't noticed, and the ending ... is perfect.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an age "in which we are camped like bewildered travellers in a garish, unrestful hotel" [Joseph Conrad - Victory]. Which adequately describes the protagonists in this film. The irony is that - like our own - their lives can and do change. Simon becomes a poet and saviour, Henry returns to being a charlatan but finally redeems himself, Faye becomes a responsible and firm mother. On the way, there are many confused events, some entertaining some hilarious!
The film then, is an ironic reflection on (or of) life. Just like life it can be accused of being slightly over-long but that is its one fault.
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