Oct 13, 2009

The best of Harry Dean Stanton: Paris, Texas

1. Paris, Texas
2. Alien
3. Big Love
4. Cool Hand Luke
5. Wild at Heart
6. Pretty in Pink
7. The Missouri Breaks
8. Cockfighter
Paris Texas recently came up between Nick and I. We were talking about our art house phases. Nick aid that he'd once sat through all four hours of Celine and Julie Go Boating. "My finest schivement as a film-goer, or indeed, as a human being. So much of it depends on you not having the confidence to admit that you’re bored out of your mind," said Nick. "There was a point near the end of Paris Texas where Nastasja Kinksi said, now you get to hear my side of the story’ and I thought: oh god, really, do we?” All of which is true. I haven't seen Paris Texas in several decades but I used to watch it fairly religiously, mostly because I liked the idea of someone as odd looking as Stanton being in a relationship with Nastassja Kinski. That was my idea of an art movie: it gave you access to this lovely, alternative universe where someone as odd as Harry Dean Stanton could be in a relationship with Nastassja Kinski. I still think that definition covers a lot. The men are always ugly in art movies (except for Marcello Mastroianni) and the women always look like models. Okay there was that one where Gerard Depardieu left his model wife for a very plain woman and everyone thought it was revolutionary. Anyway, the point being that my love of art movies took some knocks once I realised that women like Kinski didn't necessarily date men like Stanton. The art movies were telling me beautiful fibs, just like Hollywood, so I didn't trust them anymore. My love of Harry dean Stanton has endured, however. The ranking above doesn't mean much. I love him in pretty much anything I see him in.

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