Surviving Desire 1993 NR

Amazon Instant Video

(4) IMDb 7.5/10

SURVIVING DESIRE is a bold and playful little tale about a handsome young college professor smitten with a beautiful young female student. It is a swift dissection of male infatuation that is as fierce as it is compassionate.

Starring:
Martin Donovan, Matt Malloy
Runtime:
55 minutes

Customer Reviews

5 star
100%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By W Alexander Vacca on December 4, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I believe you are sincere and good at heart...

With these words we enter Hartley's single best film. Finally this gem is again available on DVD. Many thanks to those that rereleased it (now how about Trust and Flirt?)

Hartley is at his best working in short films. This piece is less than an hour long, long enough to develop a few characters and a story, but not too long to contain any extraneous words or people. The limits of time force him to use every line, every character, every shot, every expression, for maximum effect. He succeeds here brilliantly. There is nothing out of place, everything contributes and builds to the last poignant scenes.

Martin Donovan, a Hartley regular, plays an assistant professor named Jude grappling with the meaning of love as expressed in literature and smitten with a student named Sophia (Mary Ward, who seems to have done very little else other than this film). His friend Henry (played by Matt Malloy) is an ABD Theology grad student who understands everything, except how to live on his own. Jude, with his PhD and wisdom, is totally lost as things progress, and the wise advice he receives from Henry and a worldly bartender (whose six lines are exceptionally insightful) offers little help. Sophia floats in and out of this world, no passive target for Jude, but at the same time not quite the all knowing adult she believes herself to be.

There are some wondeful individual scenes. The opening shots, interspersed with the credits, are excellent. Jude and Henry's conversations are always insightful, in the Student Union Hall, on a warehouse loading dock, in a bar, and in Jude's apartment. I have already mentioned the scene with Jude and the bartender awaiting Sophia.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Had to have a copy of Hal Hartley's film 'Theory Of Achievement'. So glad it was available on the dvd 'Surviving Desire'. Much obliged to PBS for airing the 'Live from Off Center' program which first introduced me to the Hal Hartley film.
'Theory Of Achievement' is the Rosetta Stone for hip.
And Elina Lowensohn is the hipster's Ingrid Bergman.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Steven Spoerl on March 21, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Surviving Desire is vintage Hartley, a master craftsman working with astounding poignancy in one of his most economical pieces. A variety of themes are explored here, some explicitly and some implicitly, each striking a deep enough to nerve to linger long after the film's come to a close. It's an endearing and effective exploration of the human condition, pitting student against teacher and questioning the roles of both. An endless parade of open-ended questions with a built-in repetition device so that those questions attain maximum impact.

Pulling from a variety of styles, Hartley winds up with something reminiscent of many highly-regarded auteurs (Jim Jarmusch immediately comes to mind, though there are others) while remaining completely singular. Every frame has meaning and each sequence seems to reflect something that's either just out of reach or entirely too close; an unforgiving mirror of our own desires and what lengths we will endure to survive them.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By none on January 28, 2015
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Hal Hartley has made some of the most interesting movies of the last twenty years or so.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again