“Henry Fool” (1997) is an independent dark comedy written, produced and directed by Hal Hartley (b. 9/3/59). The plot centers on downtrodden garbage-man Simon Grim (James Urbaniak) who, with the encouragement of rebellious writer Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan), becomes a celebrated poet. As Simon’s writing career ascends, Henry loses himself to drinking and hedonism until his mysterious past catches up to him and he needs Simon’s help. The film won the best screenplay award at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival and spawned two sequels: Fay Grim (2006) and Ned Rifle (2014).
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