DEC 22, 2011 First off, I'd like to say that Henry Fool was a masterpiece, and I have the utmost respect for Hal Hartley for the creation of such a beautiful thing. That being said, I just watched the sequel, called "Fay Grim" and am just...confused. It was basically a big middle finger to anyone who enjoyed the original film for what it was. To fully understand what I'm talking about, it is necessary that you watch both films, in order. In addition, while this may be somewhat controversial being as this is a site focused on marijuana, I suggest watching both films sober. This could be just my opinion, but throughout all the faults I find that I have, I feel like film is something that I truly understand, and I believe that a film that is a true artwork can only be experienced best sober (I do enjoy watching movies high. It's one of my favorite things, but I don't believe that I can fully comprehend and appreciate a movie while high.) Anyway, I don't expect any of you to watch both films (Although if you don't watch Henry Fool, it is my humble opinion that you have missed out on one of the best movies out there.) So here's the basic rundown. Henry Fool is a movie about a garbage man. His family believes he's retarded and he is very depressed. He turns his life around once he meets a very eccentric man named Henry Fool, and it turns out this garbage man is a literary genius. The film is so much more than that though. The characters are so developed, their personality's so refined that I can only describe it as beautiful. It really is a must watch. Today, however, I watched the sequel, "Fay Grim". It was basically a james bond rip off. Turns out this beautiful, art form of a movie that is so simple and yet so complex, is a james bond sequel. Henry is working with terrorists. What is this?! It doesn't even make sense. It doesn't even have anything to do with the concepts addressed in Henry Fool, It's a FUCKING SPY MOVIE. I am so confused right now. Don't get me wrong, I still appreciated the movie just for the sake of seeing more of the characters, but it was just so utterly terrible. It was like Hal just said fuck it. Can I please get some insight on it? It really depresses me that such a genius of a film maker intentionally destroyed his art. He must of known it was terrible. It wouldn't cut it as a B-Movie alone, and having watched henry fool first, it just pisses me off. Please give me some insight on this....
Normally, Sonseray, I would be posting this reply in the comments section of the site where you originally posted. Even now, I feel uncomfortable doing this as it makes me feel like I am some sort of spokeman for the film. When I first saw Fay Grim, I was not aware it was a sequal for another movie. It wasn't until my obsessive research online about the factoids of the movie lead me to realize that a prequel (floabw) existed, and I had to watch it. I went out and purchased Henry Fool, as none of the rental retailers nearby seemed to have a copy. I was absolutely convinced that I would like it, especially after watching the trailers and teasers.
At first, it threw me how the quality of the film was so raw. It reminded me of Living in oblivian, another artsy fartsy independent film. To understand my complete opposition to your viewpoint on the series, I suppose one must understand what brought me to watch Fay Grim in the first place.
If my memory serves me, I had been perplexed after watching Schindler's list when I learned that Klaus Kinski had a role in that film. Klaus Kinski was the father of Nastassja Kinski, and I became a great fan of hers after having seen yet another Klaus Kinski film called Aguirre, the wrath of God. One thing lead to another in my pursuit of seeking all Kinski related films, and Schinlder's list contained an actress which had made a film with one of Kinski's other children, Nikolai. That film was Fay Grim, and as a result of this movie, Elina Lowensohn became one of my favorite actresses. She is the actress that had a part in Schindler's list who is executed by a Nazi after Amon Goeth orders her death for talking back and acting like a know-it-all.
To sum up, the great cast of characters in Fay Grim are the creme-de-la-creme. Nobody enjoys doing death scenes, at least that's my opinion, but those actors who needed to die handled it with the utmost precision. I anticipate a third film that might include insight to Henry's history, and I'm always checking new Hal Hartley films in development for this reason. To better enjoy the spy movie, however, I suggest approaching it with the perspective of disproving it's contents like, 'is baklava really delicious for breakfast with a black cup of coffee?' Or, more your speed, 'what's the relevancy of Henry's age with his radical interpretation of classic book Blake's Marriage of heaven and hell and chemistry?"
Here's some trivia for you just the same. Did you know some of the sexiest nude scenes from the HBO series Game of thrones, season one, was done by the brunette hotel clerk, Sibel Kekilli, who checks in Fay's luggage?