Henry Fool (1997) Poster


Thomas Jay Ryan: Henry Fool



  • Henry Fool : It's a philosophy. A poetics. A politics, if you will. A literature of protest. A novel of ideas. A pornographic magazine of truly comic book proportions. It is, in the end, whatever the hell I want it to be. And when I'm through with it it's going to blow a hole this wide straight through the world's own idea of itself.

    [bottles breaking] 

    Henry Fool : They're throwing bottles at your house. Come on. Let's go break their arms.

  • Henry Fool : An honest man is always in trouble, remember that Simon.

  • Henry Fool : I've been bad. Repeatedly.

  • Simon Grim : I worked, while you sat back and comfortably dismissed the outside world as too shallow, stupid and mean to appreciate your ideas.

    Henry Fool : Is that such a priority? Is that some sort of measure of a man's worth? To drag what's best in him out into the street so every average slob with some pretense to taste can poke it with a stick?

    Simon Grim : Maybe. Maybe it is.

  • Henry Fool : Opportunity will move out of the way to let a man pass it by.

  • Henry Fool : The world is full of shit indeed.

  • Henry Fool : Certain work needs to be experienced all at once in order for one to appreciate the full force of it's character.

  • Henry Fool : I can't work for a living, Simon, it's impossible. I've tried once. My genius will be wasted trying to make ends meet. This is how great men topple, Simon.

  • Fay Grim : How old do you think I am?

    Henry Fool : You look young.

    Fay Grim : How young?

    Henry Fool : I don't know. Young.

    Fay Grim : But how? I mean, do I look more like 20 or, y'know, 30.

    Henry Fool : [thinks hard]  30.

  • Henry Fool : You see Simon, there's three kinds of "there". There's "there", t-h-e-r-e: "There are the donuts." Then there's "their", t-h-e-i-r, which is the possessive: "It is their donut." Then finally, there's "they're", t-h-e-y-apostrophe-r-e. A contraction meaning: "They're... they're the donut people." Got it?

  • Henry Fool : It's a pornographic magazine of truly comic book proportions!

  • Henry Fool : You can't go to work! You have to stay home and write!

  • Henry Fool : Look, Simon, I made love to your mother about half an hour ago, and now I'm beginning to think that maybe it wasn't such a good idea.

  • Henry Fool : We gotta talk. What the hell were you trying to do when you wrote this thing?

    Simon : Nothing.

    Henry Fool : Well, you know, you wrote it in a kind of iambic pentameter.

    Simon : Iambic what?

    Henry Fool : Verse. Look. In my opinion, this is pretty powerful stuff. Though your spelling is Neanderthal and your reasoning a little naive, your instincts are profound. But the whole thing needs to be given a more cohesive shape. It can be expanded, followed through, unified. Do you see what I'm getting at? Are you willing to commit yourself to this? To really work on it? To give it its due in the face of adversity and discouragement? To rise to the challenge you yourself have set? And don't give me that wonderstruck "I'm only a humble garbage man" bullshit, either.

    Simon : It hurts to breathe.

    Henry Fool : Of course it does.

  • Henry Fool : Perhaps I wasn't made to walk through shit.

  • Henry Fool : We know we have fallen, for we know who we are.

  • Henry Fool : You can't argue about taste.

  • [reading porn magazines] 

    Henry Fool : I learn so much from these magazines Mr. Dang, and I refuse to discriminate between modes of knowing.

  • Henry Fool : A prophet is seldom heeded in his own land.

  • Henry Fool : [very calmly]  Once - I forget where I was. Central America, maybe. Somewhere hot. Stupid job, bad pay, dangerous location, and water so foul the natives wouldn't even piss in it - this crowd of drunken motherfuckers hired by the local drug cartel showed up at my hotel room and threatened to tear me limb from limb. And I say, "Listen hombres, OK, you got me outnumbered here four to one and you're gonna kill me here tonight and not a soul in this dimly lit world is gonna notice I'm gone. But one of you, one of you, one of you is gonna have his eye torn out. Period." Silence. "I repeat myself: One of you poor, underpaid jerks is gonna have an eye ripped out of its socket. I promise. It's a small thing perhaps, all things considered, but I will succeed, because it's the only thing I have left to do in this world. So why don't you just take a good look at one another one last time, and think it over a few minutes more."

    Simon : [pause]  And then what happened?

    Henry Fool : Well. Here I am, still, after all.

  • Fay Grim : [Glaring at Henry, while taking their 5 year old son, Ned, from the bar where Henry took him]  Ned, have you been drinking?

    Henry Fool : His throat hurt from smoking.

    [Fay punches Henry in the gut, hard] 

  • Henry Fool : I don't discriminate between different ways of knowing.

  • Henry Fool : She was an ugly and mean-spirited kid, but she knew how to play upon my weaknesses, which, I admit, are deep and many.

  • Henry Fool : You can't put a fence around a man's soul, we think and feel where and when we think and feel. We are servants of our muse and we toil where she commands.

  • Henry Fool : Can you sit there, look me straight in the eye and tell me that you don't think this poem is great? That it is not at once a poem of great lyrical beauty and ethical depth; that it is not a genuine, highly profound meditation on the miracle of existence?

    Simon : I...

    Henry Fool : *Can* you?

    Simon : No. I can't.

    Henry Fool : So you see you have no choice.

  • Henry Fool : Only someone who really cares doubts.

  • Henry Fool : The greats all say the same thing: little. And what little there is to be said is immense. Or, in other words, follow your own genius to where it leads without regard for the apparent needs of the world at large, which, in fact, has no needs as such, but, rather, moments of exhaustion in which it is incapable of prejudice. We can only hope to collide with these moments of unselfconsciousness. This divine fatigue. This...

    Fay Grim : Push over.

    Henry Fool : As I tried to make plain in Paris: 'Nous savons que nous avons chuté parce que nous savons qui nous sommes.' 'We know we have fallen because we know who we are.

    Fay Grim : [skeptically]  When were you in Paris?

    Henry Fool : That's beside the point. But did they listen to me? Of course not!

See also

Release Dates | Official Sites | Company Credits | Filming & Production | Technical Specs

Recently Viewed