on August 07, 1996 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
Filmmaker Hal Hartley has expanded his 1993 23-minute short of the same name with decidedly mixed results. The original "Flirt" concerns a man who can't decide whether to commit to marry his girlfriend of six months. He goes to a bar, is shot and comes to a decision about his life.    Hartley retains the first "Flirt," which occurs in New York, and adds segments in Berlin and Tokyo that replay dialogue but change the relationships from straight to gay and alter the characters' nationalities to German and Japanese. That allows for playful observations on the differences and similarities among romantic situations--and for clever Godardian asides on the nature of moviemaking. Parts one and two mesh well, but the Japanese scenario goes off the rails, unraveling into a Kabuki-like play that is little but pretentiously portentous. Starring Bill Sage, Dwight Ewell and Miho Nikaidoh. Directed and written by Hal Hartley. Produced by Ted Hope. A CFP release. Comedy/ drama. Unrated. Running time: 90 min. Screened at the Toronto fest.
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