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Parker Posey on a phone looking unhappy.
Ned Rifle

Film

Ned Rifle

Unclassified 15+

In Praise of Parker Posey

21 Mar - 26 Mar

Back in the States serving a life sentence for treason, Fay (Posey) receives a visit from her eighteen year old son, Ned (Aiken), now old enough to leave the home of his devout Christian foster family; Martin Donovan (Trust, Amateur) makes a welcome return to the Hartleyverse in the ecclesiastical robes of the family’s patriarch, Reverend Gardner. (Bill Sage – from 1992’s Simple Men – also returns in a cameo as Bud.)

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  • Intent on tracking down his father, Henry, (Thomas Jay Ryan) Ned visits his uncle, Simon Grim (James Urbaniak), and finds the former poet laureate and ‘cultural touchstone’ holed up in a hotel working on a post-literary career as a stand-up comedian. The alluring, self-possessed Susan (Aubrey Plaza), a woman harbouring a connection to Henry that predates Ned’s birth, talks her way into travelling west with Ned to find him.

    The final chapter of the tragicomic saga centred on the Grim family of Woodside, Queens after Henry Fool (1997) and Fay Grim (2006), Hal Hartley’s trilogy in its entirety paints an incisive, ironically heightened portrait of American society and politics over the course of two decades. Parker Posey returns as Fay Grim, with Liam Aiken back as a grown up Ned and introducing Hartley ‘newbie’ Aubrey Plaza as the mysterious Susan.

    “Hartley is a gifted practitioner of mannered, dry comedy; what emerges during Ned’s journey is…a narrative tension that moves the film almost into thriller territory. Hartley's humour and intellectual musings are, as always, fully present, but by anchoring them to a genuinely compelling story of familial retribution, he's made his best film in years.” The Village Voice