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Revealing a Subject Who Holds Back

‘Harry Dean Stanton’ Looks at the Actor’s Life

NYT Critics' Pick



by  on Jun.24, 2013, under DocumentariesFestivalsLos Angeles Film FestivalMovie Reviews

The face of actor Harry Dean Stanton; his biographical documentary, "PARTLY FICTION", played at the LA Film Festival.

Written by guest writer Tom Beaver

It isn’t often that film actors unearth countless stories within the story they appear by just making an entrance. It’s an inexplicable gift to possess a face that the camera lusts after with Dionysian abandon. The camera wants the actor as opposed to the actor wanting the camera.

Most dynamic performers display their gifts (think Klaus Kinski, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, etc.) by playing to the camera.  And although commanding the camera is a definite and sometimes effective skill there is much to be said for actors who understand the power of silence and their own mug.



An iconic actor in his intimate moments, with film clips from some of his 250 films and his own heart-breaking renditions of American folk songs. Lensed in colour and b/w by Seamus McGarvey, the film explores the actor’s enigmatic outlook on his life, his unexploited talents as a musician, and includes scenes with David Lynch, Wim Wenders, Sam Shepard, Kris Kristofferson and Debbie Harry.