Sam Shepard

Bloodline, Ep. 1.01-06: Compelling mystery driven by exceptional casting

Bloodline is all about deception. What’s beneath the surface, what we hide from the world and the lies we tell to protect ourselves and our families. The problem is, and the one that is explored in Bloodline, that it’s usually our families who know our deepest secrets anyways. And if you have a family like the Rayburns’ they are likely to use them against you at some point. What becomes clear in these first six episodes is that these are people who don’t let things go.

EIFF 2013: Harry Dean Stanton profiled in the terrific ‘Partly Fiction’

In keeping with the acting style of the object of its focus, Sophie Huber’s Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction stays away from extremes in its portrait of one of America’s greatest actors. There is affection, but it is understated and not glowing, while any melancholy elements are not over-stressed. The facts and opinions expressed, through Stanton and various collaborators, are simply allowed to be – free of added manipulation – in what amounts as a rather quiet documentary, excluding film clips with their own soundtracks and instances in which we get to see Stanton express his passion for performing music. Like the documentary’s most discussed film, Paris, Texas (1984), Partly Fiction is serene but also apt at emotional devastation, though as in Wim Wenders’ masterpiece, sorrow and optimism are intertwined.

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