Ned Rifle – Interview with Writer/Director Hal Hartley

Click through for our interview with Writer/Director Hal Harltey about Ned Rifle, the full trilogy, Harvard, Waco, and much more!

Hal Hartley

 Interview with Hal Hartley:

I opened our chat by asking Hal about is history at film festivals.  He's won awards at Cannes and Sundance and has been to numerous festivals over the decades.

The film festival circuit may have put Hal on the map for a majority of hungry film lovers, but it's kickstarter that keeps him making movies.  Hal explained why he likes crowd sourcing.

Ned Rifle Poster wo writing

Ned Rifle is the final film in a nearly 3 decade long trilogy.  The first film was Henry Fool in 1997.  The feature film wasn't his first, but it certainly became a cult favorite and led to it's sequel Fay Grim.  Ned Rifle is the continuing story of Henry and Fay's son Ned.  Actor Liam Aiken (Ned Rifle) has literally grown up over these films and I asked Hal about working with Liam for so long.

Hal Hartley with 7 yr old Liam who plays Ned Rifle on set of Henry Fool in NYC.  Photo Courtesy of Possible films.

Thomas Jay Ryan with Liam Aiken on set of HENRY FOOL

Hal Hartley has helped launch many careers in the industry.  Parker Posey and Martin Donovan may be his two best finds and I asked about his friendship with these two talented actors.


Ned_Rifle-Karen Sillas as Alice Gardner and Martin Donovan as Rev. Daniel Gardner

Hal has directed 34 short and feature length films but he's also a theater lover.  In particular, he's written a jarring play called SOON.  It looked at the Waco Branch Davidians debacle and I asked Hal about why he wanted to explore that horrible event.

Lastly, I asked Hal what it was like teaching film at Harvard from 2001-04.

This indie icon's closing trilogy film is available on April 1st. 

Aubrey Plaza as Susan Weber in NED RIFLE, directed by Hal Hartley

For more information please visit

NED RIFLE April 1 photo with Aubrey Plaza


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