Review: Film Hawk (2017)

Film Hawk is a feature documentary about the life and career of indie film consultant and pioneer Robert Hawk; from film-makers Tai Parquet & JJ Garvine.

Robert (‘Bob’) Hawk is a longtime advisor to filmmakers and film festivals and has been a part of the independent film scene for over 30years. Starting with his involvement in documentary as a researcher on Rob Epstein’s Oscar-winning The Times of Harvey Milk, he has been credited with discovering and/or nurturing the talents of such filmmakers as Epstein, Kevin Smith (beginning with Clerks), Joe Carnahan (from Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane to Pride and Glory), Ed Burns (The Brothers McMullen), David Siegel and Scott McGehee (The Deep End), Rodrigo Bellott (Sexual Dependency), Nathaniel Kahn (My Architect), Paul Devlin (The Front Man, Blast!, Power Trip, SlamNation), and Geller & Goldfine (The Galapogos Affair: Satan Came to Eden, Something Ventured, Kids of Survival/Emmy award, Frosh). He has consulted on films as varied as Terry George’s Some Mother’s Son, Tim Blake Nelson’s Eye of God, Lisa Krueger’s Manny and Lo, Tom Bezucha’s Big Eden, Jon Shear’s Urbania, and Smith’s Chasing Amy,  Red State and Dogma, among others. Hawk served on the Advisory Selection Committee of the Sundance Film Festival for its entire existence (1987-1998). He currently serves on the advisory boards of Independent Film Week (IFP/NY) and The Legacy Project . In later years he has worked largely as an independent film consultant.

This documentary follows Hawk’s career and life from his early years working in theatre to the present day; largely told through interviews with many of his collaborators and friends/family  including the likes of Kevin Smith, Ed Burns, Rob Epstein, Scott McGehee & David Siegel but also through a series of fun and at times intensely personal interviews with bob himself. We also get to see him revisit some locations that have been significant in his life’s journey and also a variety of interesting archive footage including clips from projects he has been involved with.

It is clear the influence that Hawk has had on many artists and people throughout his storied career; however perhaps more interestingly we get a peek at the more personal story of the man himself; covering everything from the struggles of growing up as the gay son of a minister to battles with depression and the struggles of supporting himself financially in the independent film business. Hawk himself as a charecter is instantly likeable and it clear why the film-makers chose him as a subject. Although the production is a little rough around the edges and the pace is slow with the storytelling non-linear; although this turns it into more of a journeyman-style tale which is actually quite apt for Hawk.


The film can be seen on iTunes.

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