Harry Dean Stanton :: Canciî³n Mixteca

Speaking with Esquire in 2009, the late Harry Dean Stanton said, "Everyone wants an answer. I think it was Gertrude Stein who wrote, 'There is no answer, there never was an answer, there'll never be an answer. That's the answer.' It's a hard sell, but that's the ultimate truth."

Stanton died last week on September 15th, at the age of 91, and his filmography bears witness to his vision of ultimate truth, hard sell as it may have been. Stanton was the kind of actor who spoke volumes, often with little or no words at all. His face told stories, bringing a soulful intensity to movies like Cool Hand Luke, Repo Man, Alien, The Last Temptation of Christ, his many collaborations with David Lynch, including Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, The Straight Story, Inland Empire, and Twin Peaks: The Return, and one of his final films, John Carroll Lynch's elegiac Lucky.

In 1984, Stanton starred in Wim Wenders' and Sam Shepard's Paris, Texas, perhaps the clearest demonstration of Stanton's lonesome and elemental power. In 1997, he and his band performed "Canciî³n Mixteca," from Ry Cooder's score from the film, for the ABC series Access All Areas, at Philip Dane's Cigar Lounge, Beverly Hills. Unmistakable and haunted. Godspeed, HDS.

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