An Indispensable New Documentary About Master Filmmaker Hal Ashby
Although Hal Ashby directed a remarkable string of acclaimed, widely admired classics throughout the 1970s, he is often overlooked amid the crowd of luminaries from his generation. Amy Scott’s exuberant portrait explores that curious oversight, using rare archival materials, interviews, personal letters, and audio recordings to reveal a passionate, obsessive artist. Ashby was a Hollywood director who constantly clashed with Hollywood, but also a unique soul with an unprecedented insight into the human condition and an unmatched capacity for good. His films were an elusive blend of honesty, irreverence, humour, and humanity. Through the heartrending and inspiring ‘Hal’ you feel buoyed by Ashby’s love of people and of cinema, a little like walking on water.
“It’s a consistently engaging trip.” – Manohla Dargis – New York Times
“It must have been daunting to make a film about a master editor and filmmaker, but Scott has clearly learned from her careful attention to Ashby’s films.” – Nell Minow