‘Harry Dean Stanton’ is an actor with staying power

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Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction

Pity the filmmaker who decides to make a documentary about Harry Dean Stanton, the laconic/iconic character actor who, now in his mid-80s, has achieved a kind of ornery Zen grace. Director Sophie Huber, an earnest Swede making her feature debut with “Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction,” will ask how he would describe himself and Stanton will answer, “There’s nothing. There is no self.”

Potted Buddhism from a burnt-out ’60s survivor? Or the artful dodge of a wayward talent? Faced with a subject who’s not so much resistant as beyond her reach, Huber does the sensible thing: She goes to the clips, talks to creative accomplices (David Lynch, Wim Wenders), and just lets the man sing. It adds up to an unexpectedly moving portrait of a maverick at twilight.

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