Friday, September 17, 2004

News Journal Online : Documentary with some difference

One of the "Horns and Halos" creators finds a great difference between his film and the other current political documentaries, including Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11."

It's not the lack of its own agenda for "Horn and Halos," or the minuscule budget or the complete lack of a ubiquitous presence fanned by flocks of flacks, though those are strong contrasts.

"I don't think the documentaries like 'Fahrenheit 9/11' will hold up over time," says Michael Galinsky, who co-directed "Horn and Halos" with Suki Hawley, who wrote the material not spoken in the on-camera interviews and filmed events.

"Horn and Halos" is a timeless tale of most unusual personal tragedy.

"We heard about the book ('Fortunate Son') being pulled by St. Martin's Press," Galinsky says via cell phone from New York City, where he is serving as delivery guy for the film's publicity materials because he and Hawley are their production company's entire staff.

Because the firm was already in the documentary business, it was on the mailing list when the equally minute publishing venture Soft Skull Press sent out word it would issue the book.

"We started shooting (our documentary) like two days later," and continued through author James Howard Hatfield's tragic travails, according to Galinsky.

"Essentially, for us, it was about media and how we process information," he notes.

He also says the recent Bush-inspired films have changed the landscape more than politically.

"The idea of what a documentary is is constantly shifting," he says.

Asked if there have been any repercussions from the White House or its allies, he chuckles.

"We are just so far under the radar . . . I'm sure they know (the movie) exists, but we are just a gnat," he says.

That sort of low profile hasn't exactly propelled "Horn and Halos" to big box-office numbers.

"It's so hard to get anyone to notice it because it's not explosive," he adds.

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