This is classic Fuller filmmaking … and as Dominik Graf notes, there is no mistaking the director’s “brand of ecstatic underground cinema.”
Throughout Wim Wenders’s Paris, Texas (1984), Travis Henderson (played by Harry Dean Stanton) carries with him a photograph of an empty lot he bought in the eponymous city, which he later tells his son is near “the Red River” that borders Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The reference automatically draws to mind Howard Hawks’s beloved 1948 Western, Red River, which drew together an unlikely screen pair with John Wayne and Montgomery Clift.
When Wim Wenders first saw Sebastiõ Salgado’s photographs, he knew he was looking at the work of an artistic genius. Salgado used his camera to document various indigenous peoples throughout the world, exploring the depths of little-known cultures and lifestyles. Much of his early work celebrated the heterogeneous nature of humanity, but as Salgado became more interested in the plights of war-ravaged nations, his photographs became darker and more provocative. The Salt of the Earth, co-directed by Wenders and Salgado’s son Juliano Ribeiro, delineates one man’s tumultuous relationship with humanity. As evidenced by Salgado’s extraordinary photographs, human beings are at once the most beautiful and the most appalling creatures to have ever walked the Earth.
December 12 marks 110 years since the birth of the great Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu (and 50 years to the date since his death). So what better way to commemorate the occasion than to revisit what is widely seen as his masterpiece among masterpieces, Tokyo Story, out now on a 3-disc dual format Blu-ray/DVD from The Criterion Collection?
In keeping with the acting style of the subject 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.
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.