I just got back from a brief Christmas holiday to the distant land of relatives and limited Internet access, so my column is just a tad late this week. Nevertheless, I'd like to pick up where I left off last week, in my celebration of those smaller films that lost their way in 2007, either misunderstood, or misjudged, or just never found.

I saw Hal Hartley's Fay Grim in May as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival. It was a sequel to his 1998 film Henry Fool and it had one of those strange near-simultaneous releases in which it debuted on DVD just a few days after it opened in theaters. This technique didn't work at all for Steven Soderbergh's superb Bubble last year, so I can't imagine why anyone would try it again. I found Henry Fool too long with too much navel gazing to be of interest, but somehow Fay Grim worked for me. I felt it was all a huge, deadpan joke that these pathetic writer-types would now be involved in international intrigue. And who is better for a deadpan joke than Jeff Goldblum, with his glaring eyes and sharp delivery?

categories Columns, Cinematical