Fay Grim

Does anyone even remember Hal Hartley? Once one of the faceless faces of an independent-film movement that embraced his literate humor and unadorned camera style, Hartley slipped off the radar after 1997’s Henry Fool. Oddly enough, that film was Hartley’s breakthrough, not only in terms of quality, but also because people actually went to see it. After directing several shorts and barely released features, Hartley returns with Fay Grim, a sequel to Henry Fool in which the story is re-jiggered as an international-espionage thriller. Parker Posey plays Fay, a supporting player in Henry Fool, who is coerced by the CIA to travel abroad to retrieve Henry’s notebooks, which contain encrypted spy information. Fay Grim starts out well, but devolves into self-seriousness and willful incoherence.