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Although Hal Ashby directed a remarkable string of acclaimed, widely admired classics throughout the 1970s—HAROLD AND MAUDE, THE LAST DETAIL, SHAMPOO, COMING HOME, BEING THERE—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, humor, 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.
“One of the comparatively unsung luminaries of 1970s American cinema receives a very fine tribute in HAL, an in-depth look at director Hal Ashby. A most welcome reassessment of one of the most important figures in 1970s Hollywood.” - Hollywood Reporter
“A loving tribute to a filmmaker who doesn’t get anywhere near the recognition and respect he deserves. Former collaborators and actors gush over his generosity and dedication to the craft. His unfiltered and uncompromising vision arguably produced the clearest, most lucid depiction of the tumultuous ’70s.” - NonFics