Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction

Recalcitrant opacity may impart a certain cool to the film actor Harry Dean Stanton and the characters he enacts, but they render him a lousy subject for director Sophie Huber to interview in the new doc "Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction."

Huber films Stanton primarily in black and white, with an occasional color cityscape of Los Angeles shot as if through a bandanna (or gauze). But with Stanton cordoning off wide swaths of potentially revealing biographical subject matter, we're left with little but film clips, determinedly meaningful silences and dolorous canciones. Only when some of Stanton's most treasured friends and colleagues enter the picture - David Lynch, Kris Kristofferson - does "Partly Fiction" sputter to life. The best line: Stanton's advice to young actors to seek roles in movies, not plays: "They don't pay enough, not enough people see them, and you have to work too hard."

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