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The Unbelievable Truth

The Underneath
Until the End of the World


The Unbelievable Truth
(1989)

Hal Hartley's first and probably best (although Simple Men and Amateur rate highly too). All the signature tics and quirks are here and the dialogue is frequently hilarious. Adrienne Shelly and Robert "not Peter Weller" Burke are attractive leads, but Chris Cooke is served the meatiest role as Shelly's money-motivated father.

****

The Underneath
(1995)

Early, pre-career revitalisation Soderbergh. It's all fairly so-so for the first two-thirds, but once the heist occurs the director really finds his feet, particularly during the extended bed-bound sequences with Gallagher laid up. Always nice to see William Fichtner seething with fury too. Decent overall, but better in technique than plot.

***1/2

Until the End of the World
(1991)

The 4 1/2 hour Director's Cut, which I'd not seen before (German DVD import, meaning there were a few scenes in French and German I just had to go with the flow on). 

The soundtrack for this was one of my most listened to of the '90s, and in this trilogy format it really comes to the fore, with multiple versions of songs. By rights this should be categorised as an incredibly self-indulgent bloat-fest, but I find it lyrical and its sprawling majesty utterly absorbing. The "Greenspace" scene at the end remains gruesomely cheesy, though.

*****

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