Harry Dean Stanton: 1926 – 2017

Possibly the greatest character actor of the past 40 years, the cantankerous stalwart for the smoking, drinking working fellow, Harry Dean Stanton passed on at the venerable age of 91. The actor has approximately 200 film and television credits dating all the way back to the 1950s, so obviously you might fit into one or more of several camps of HDS. There is the dopey working class performances in Red Dawn, and Alien (Rieeeght). There is the creepy, creepy villain rolls in TV’s Big Love series, Seven Psychopaths, and Wild At Heart. The existential drifter, in Paris Texas, and his last major film to come out, 2017’s Lucky. The mentor and father figure, in Pretty in Pink, Repo Man. As a seedy sidekick in Escape From New York and Cockfighter. Or the witness to events in The Straight Story, The Green Mile, The Avengers, Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me, and The Last Temptation of Christ. Or mood-setting troubadour strumming his six string in Cool Hand Luke, Access All Areas and recently in Twin Peaks: The Return.

His lanky frame and ‘I don’t give a fuck’ posture, which was meticulously achieved with committed performances in even the tiniest of parts, made him one of the recognizable faces in film, and he will deeply missed. Of course, Stanton worked right up to the moment of his death and can be seen acting alongside one of his regular collaborators, David Lynch (he is in the bulk of Lynch’s filmography), in John Carroll Lynch’s Lucky as well as in Michael Oblowitz’s Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner picture, Frank & Ava.

Variety has more.

Trailer: Lucky

Happy 91st birthday Harry Dean Stanton! And the man keeps working, from his cameo in the Marvel Comic Universe, to reprising his part in the Twin-Peaks-verse (Fire Walk With Me) in Season 3. All those fine performances he gave to David Lynch over the years, here in this indie film Lucky, he gets to act along side Lync and get the rare starring role! Turtles, Ed Begly Jr., Tom Skerrit, Beth Grant, Ron Livingston and Barry Shabaka Henley also appear. This sun baked, crusty existential crisis (comedy) look marvelous, now can we talk about the bonus situation?

(Riiiiight!)

‘Lucky’ follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist and the quirky characters that inhabit his off the map desert town. Having out lived and out smoked all of his contemporaries, the fiercely independent Lucky finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self exploration, leading towards that which is so often unattainable: enlightenment.

Blu-Ray Review: Repo Man

Director: Alex Cox
Screenplay: Alex Cox
Starring: Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez,Tracey Walter, Olivia Barash
Producer: Peter McCarthy, Jonathan Wacks
Country: USA
Running Time: 92 min
Year: 1984
BBFC Certificate: 18

Masters of Cinema continue their run of re-releasing cult classics from Universal’s vaults with a film which the term ‘cult’ seems to have been made for, Repo Man. I’ve seen the film about 3 times now and with each subsequent viewing I like the film more and more.

For those of you unfamiliar with the film, Repo Man introduces us to Otto (Emilio Estevez), an punk loser living in L.A. with his parents, spending his days stacking shelves and his nights with his criminal friends at various punk parties and clubs. When he’s at his lowest he’s randomly approached and coaxed into ‘chauffeuring’ a car for Bud (Harry Dean Stanton). It turns out Bud is actually a ‘repo man’, one of a particularly despised group whose job it is to repossess cars from people behind on their payments. After unwittingly doing one of these jobs for Bud, Otto is begrudgingly brought onto the repo men team, and he quickly grows to love his new role. Meanwhile though, a mysterious car is roaming Los Angeles with a deadly and much sought after cargo in it’s boot (or trunk to any yanks out there). A wide variety of weird and wonderful groups join the chase as the repo men themselves learn of it’s value.

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Movie Club Podcast #24: “Paris, Texas” and “Southland Tales”

We got the gang back together for another episode of The Movie Club. Many of the regular crew is present including participants from RowThree, FilmJunk and more new voices from The Director’s Club Podcast. It’s a wild and woolly ride as the panel (re-)discovered the masterpiece that is Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas and then moves on to a more chaotic disagreement with Richard Kelly’s baffling Southland Tales. It’s worth taking a listen just for Jim’s intro with a Gwen Stefani parody. Please head over to the MovieClubPodcast page for a solid listen. Please enjoy responsibly!

           

The Movie Club is as much for the listeners as it is the contributors. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section over at the Movie Club Page. (Comments are turned off on this post.) The Next Episode will be recorded sometime in May (maybe, but do not hold us to that; regularity is not our strong suit!) and the films on discussion will be 52 Pick-Up and The Driver.