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Possible Films, Volume 2: New Short Films by Hal Hartley - arthouse and international DVD / drama DVD review
POSSIBLE FILMS, VOLUME 2: NEW SHORT FILMS BY HAL HARTLEY Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 2 1/2 stars
Actors: Nikolai Kinski, Bettina Zimmermann, Christina Flick, Ireen Kirsch, Jordana Maurer
Director: Hal Hartley   Studio: Microcinema
DVD release: 27 April 2010   Runtime: 75 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD, NTSC
DVD Features: Aspect ratio 1.33:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English), Five short films (A/Muse, Implied Harmonies, The Apologies, Adventure, Accomplice)

*Implied Harmonies* (from *Possible Films, Volume 2: New Short Films by Hal Hartley*)In these short films, Hartley scratches his quotidian itch. He wants us to see details of his everyday life, like the fact that his wife, the Japanese actress Miho Nikaido, has shapely breasts ("Adventure"). Or the fact that an aspiring actress needs to repeatedly rehearse a monologue before an audition ("The Apologies").

As memorable as Hartley's feature films are, these selection of shorts is lackluster and forgettable. There's a lot of ego motivating trite and contrived situations, as in "The Apologies," where stagey actresses (Bettina Zimmermann, Ireen Kirsch) pose and preen for a writer they don't realize is absent from the premises. Ditto "A/Muse" (which you might think means "funny" but might be Greeker than that and thus suggests "not my muse"), in which a young actress (Christina Flick) travels to Berlin with the intention of persuading a director that she is his new muse.

Make no mistake: Hartley is an accomplished director and, in longer form, a fascinating, quirky and often funny storyteller. He works with talented photographs and actors. But in these short pieces, the drive of narrative is missing and Hartley's less attractive proclivities rise to the surface.
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reviewed by Brian Charles Clark
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