For some filmmakers, completing their next project requires several years; Hal Ashby needed no more than nine to create seven exemplary additions to the American film canon—among them The Landlord, Harold and Maude, Shampoo, and Being There. Ashby’s (then) controversial films about race, sex, politics, and unconventional love made him a Hollywood rarity in the 1970s—he was a director who made films outside studio control. This loving remembrance by Amy Scott is rich with input from peers celebrating the iconoclastic filmmaker and elevated by archival audio from Ashby himself. Interviewees describe a man who barely slept and a mind that constantly churned; above all, his excitement for authentic stories that were cultural critiques of society fed him creatively and attracted artists to being in his company. The combination of such energy and success came with some personal cost, and Hal openly chronicles Ashby’s failed relationships, extensive drug use, and reclusiveness after the making of Being There. Still, Ashby’s compassion and uncompromising nature for the craft earned him a place as one of our most sublime artists.  KR


Amy Scott


Christine Beebe, Lisa Janssen, Brian Morrow, Jonathan Lynch


Amy Scott, Sean Jarrett, Brian Morrow


Jonathon Narducci, Adam Michael Becker, Alexandre Naufel

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

90 minutes