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Hal Hartley ’84 Chronicles His First Filmmaking Experience

“…Hartley would stand as one of the few meaningfully independent filmmakers of his era.”

In IndieWire’s recent in-depth interview with Hal Hartley ’84, A Farce with Teeth: Hal Hartley Chronicles the Making of His Scrappy Debut The Unbelievable Truth, Hartley paints a colorful picture of independent filmmaking in the 80s, and how he empowered his Purchase peers to earn experience and credibility.

“In fact, “The Unbelievable Truth” was an opportunity for many of Hartley’s friends and college peers to get their first credit in a professional capacity.

“‘Everybody needed the step up,’ he said. ‘They needed to be a department head, essentially.’”

He also talks about French playwright Molière and the power of words…

“’I was really letting myself be affected by the Molière plays, where the atmosphere is indicated in what the characters are saying. I just knew that with the small amount of money I had, if I wanted to make a film that had some meat to it, I was going to have to rely on the thing that I felt most confident about, and which, in fact, is the cheapest: words.’”

A Farce With Teeth on


Film poster for The Unbelievable Truth (1989) by Hal Hartley '84