Wednesday, June 14, 2006

#13- Surviving Desire- Hal Hartley- 1991

"Knowing is not enough."
I find it awesome that in ranking my films, I had three 3 hour films in a row, one normal length feature and now a movie just shy of 50 minutes. Hal Hartley's short film Surviving Desire is the best of his early works. The film revolves around a college professor who falls in love with the only student who actually listens to him in class. He is constantly pondering a paragraph out of Brothers Karamozov by Dostoyevsky and is always pondering his love for his favorite student. Jude, played by the incomprable Martin Donovan, is the perfect aloof young college professor torn by his strange attraction that caan be summed up in one word: verbs. "Therefore active!" His buddy Henry, played by a constant Hartley actor Matt Malloy is the perfect college low-life who doesn't know anything but schooling. He flounders about and is the voice of reason to Jude's blind ambition to be with Sofie. Sofie is your perfet college writer-to-br. With a cute figure, short art school hair-do and dependent free woman spirit, we see a character who is reaching out to someone, but doesn't really know what she wants. It's a great character. She is always asking people at the bookstore where she works if she can help anybody, but no one answers her. When someone actually reaches out to her in anyway (Jude), she rejects it after a short time.

The movie, as the title suggests, poses the questions "What do people go through after what they want is lost?" "Can we survive desire?" It's pretty excellent that the word "desire" is used and not love. The relationship is desire driven. That is why you will find the answer to be that although it hurts, you just have to lay your head in the gutter a bit and walk away just fine.

I highly suggest this film to anyone who has been in a relationship that didn't work the way they desired. It happens all the time. We love someone, or at least assume we do, and when we lose them, we feel horrible. I posted about this movie before, so here is the link to what I wrote after I saw this for the first time.


j. leo said...

Okay, we need to set aside a day to double this up with Trust. No more waiting.

Paul Tsikitas said...

Let me know when and I will accomodate. I was hoping the day after E6, but if retreek is starting early, we can always opt for another night. I was planning actually on coordinating a whole day of Hartley at my place one weekend cuz there are other films you need to see like The Unbelievable Truth, Simple Men and such... not sure which ones you have seen already.

j. leo said...

I think it;s just this and Trust, I did manage to find most of his others on Netflix.

And look at this...

YES, PAUl, YES!!!!

I have just seen a trailer that reaches the rare air of SNakes on a Plane or more appropriately, Santa's Slay. Go to YouTube and search for

"The Gingerdead Man"

Mutant gingerbread man kills people.


ANd look who the star is!!!!

These people couldn't POSSIBLY get it more.

Steve said...

Genius. That is officially apart of the retarded premise trilogy: Snakes on Gingerdead's Slay