Harry Dean Stanton Was LUCKY & Best Three Obits

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

Harry Dean Stanton, who died Friday, Sept. 15  at age 91, was in the first movie I ever covered as a film reviewer. On Monday, Feb. 2, 1985, the New Mexico Daily Lobo in Albuquerque published a halting, lukewarm review of Wim Wenders’ PARIS, TEXAS.  It was a college try at doing this sort of thing, but years later, what strikes me about Harry Dean Stanton is that a lot of us  lived the quirky way he did on screen.

Cult of Harry

New Mexico Daily Lobo first film review by Quendrith Johnson, Feb. 25, 1985

New Mexico Daily Lobo, Feb. 25, 1985

We were all Paris, Texans, in the Wenders sense. Believing in that crazy desert lost-horizon magic of America, but also  in the art-for-non-commercial-art sense. Outsider art, the Stanton way.

Harry was our withered icon of indifference to big paychecks and brand names. We were just being our creative selves in whatever rendition of freelance “cool” he represented, to hell with healthcare.

Harry Dean Stanton went from regular Joe in TV series “Gunsmoke” to sobbing hitchhiker in the rain in seminal film TWO-LANE BLACKTOP.

Who makes that leap?

Then to ALIEN’s hesitating Everyman, or for many that guy in REPO MAN. To each audience member, he laid down private memories in whatever movies defined him for them.

No matter how long his resume, Stanton was still that off-beat, unbroken, mysterious wise guy, in the wisdom sense, smirking under there somewhere, but also sincere. He invited you to break free with him, maybe.

"Gunsmoke" Harry Dean Stanton

“Gunsmoke” Harry Dean Stanton

Tough to define Harry,  he was almost a celluloid mood swing.

Harry Dean Stanton’s last movie is called LUCKY, to be released by Magnolia Pictures two weeks after his death, on Sept. 29.

He didn’t plan it this way, but what a great title, and way to go out, in the opening light and starring credits of a new film.
My own personal way to say goodbye to him, in some kind of circular celebration from first review to last review of his work, is to quote Giacomo Puccini’s entire “Vissi d’arte” translated from the Italian aria in “Tosca.”

Harry Dean Stanton would have dug that.

Hold that operatic thought though, as it’s a style in almost all his film work.

The MISSOURI BREAKS actor wasn’t just a dramatic actor or a comedic actor, he was his own American cinematic opera icon for the ages.

He was in movies as diverse as COOL HAND LUKE, PRETTY IN PINK, GODFATHER II, ALPHA DOG, LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, GREEN MILE, just look at all his credits.

Even in new movie, LUCKY, he plays a nonagenarian Atheist full of aphorisms worthy of a Buddhist or a retired Rodeo clown.


Listen to the official description: “LUCKY follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist and the quirky characters that inhabit his off the map desert town. Having out lived and out smoked all of his contemporaries, the fiercely independent Lucky finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self exploration, leading towards that which is so often unattainable: enlightenment. Acclaimed character actor John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut, “Lucky”, is at once a love letter to the life and career of Harry Dean Stanton as well as a meditation on mortality, loneliness, spirituality, and human connection.”

He was an Alien among us.

He was an “Alien” among us.

Kind of over-the-top, but not topping this 91-year-old’s brilliant career and deft hand at leading us into self-reflection as we stared into the world of Harry Dean Stanton for years on screen.

So, it’s only fitting to give him the last round-up, picking the Top Three Obits so far… Why not?

Top Three Obits

Best to start with Vanity Fair, mosey on over to The Hollywood Reporter and jump over the pond to the Guardian UK.

Not one writer is enough to really sum up the wild, wide-ranging hot-foot career through film of this actor, who, although born in 1926, gave a Harry Dean Stanton stamp to my generation of  writers and film critics, not just what we wrote, but how we lived. So say an aria for Stanton…

In Two-Lane Blacktop with GTO.

In “Two-Lane Blacktop” with GTO.


Ad Astra, Harry Dean Stanton, But First Look at His New Movie…

Magnolia Pictures will release LUCKY on Sept. 29, just two weeks after star Harry Dean Stanton went to The Big Adios, signing off the silver screen at ninety-one.


Directed by John Carroll Lynch. Written by Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja, and stars Harry Dean Stanton, Ron Livingston, Ed Begley Jr, Tom Skerritt, Barry Shabaka Henley, James Darren, Beth Grant, Yvonne Huff Lee, Hugo Armstrong and David Lynch.

Harry Dean Stanton (1926-2017) Lives on in Film.

Harry Dean Stanton (1926-2017) Lives on in Film.

Get LUCKY here:
Official Site I Facebook I Twitter

# # #


Joe Bang Gives Up James Bond for Channing Tatum in Tenn., LOL, for LOGAN LUCKY

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

Some good news Down South as Channing Tatum, who stars in LOGAN LUCKY directed by Steven Soderbergh, has gotten James Bond to dye his hair blonde — “Dye Another Day” would be a great 007 title — wait, that’s not real news.

JoeBangLLDC17Even though Daniel Craig’s surprise Hillbilly-meets-Okie mega-cameo as Joe Bang in this movie is quite a towhead, the real news?

Well, over a ways yonder in Tennessee the cast of LOGAN, which will be released by Bleeker Street on Aug. 18,  did some great charity work in “The Volunteer State”, also known as home of the Grand Ole Opry, Tennessee.

Tatum? Be There in Tenn... For Charity.

Tatum? Be There in Tenn… For Charity.

Btw, Tennessee got the moniker volunteer state from the 1812 War, when TN Troops under Stonewall Jackson lent a hand in the Battle of New Orleans to much fanfare in the medal category. But we digress, as last night Channing Tatum and his cast had a blast with films fans.

Always on Deck for Him Selfie & Fans.

Always on Deck for Him Selfie & Fans.

It was for a great cause, “Tennessee Benefit Screening for Variety — The Children’s Charity.” All the fun took place at the Regal Pinnacle Stadium 18 in Knoxville. What’s the movie about?

Casting Call, Lol.

Casting Call, Lol.

Good question. It’s a madcap, multi-layer, moolah-related mash-up by marauding marvelously mysterious (cast-against-type) morons. How’s that for alliteration?

Katie Holmes rips up her scenes in a movie that officially brings her back into the pack of Hollywood actors of their own merit. And it stars these cool kids: Seth MacFarlane, Riley Keough, Meg Ryan’s son Jack Quaid,  and Katherine Waterson. And kids at heart Dwight Yoakam, Sebastian Stan, Brian Gleeson, with Hilary Swank as one itch-on-wheels FBI agent but later as a lovely barfly. Riley Keough, daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and Elvis’ grandkid proves she has a big future on screen by her own lights. SNC_7184

And James Bond gives a stunning, freakish American accent attempt somewhere in the clinical lab range of a genetically engineered Hillybilly-Okie mix with enough menace to make you wonder how he’d really be in a prison riot. Plus, Soderbergh, genius director, teases us in the critic world with an “Introducing” credit for Daniel Craig, which is usually only used to debut an actor. Bond does comedy, whoa, that is new, so maybe Soderbergh isn’t completely joking on that intro.

Meanwhile Channing Tatum and Adam Driver are stellar, so weird how well both act, even with the IQ dialed down to O (for “Ozark,” hey it kind of fits in the Netflix series Americana zeitgeist).

Channing is The Man from LUCKY LOGAN in Tenn.

Channing is The Man from LOGAN LUCKY in Tenn.

Kinda wonder about the writer Rebecca Blunt on this one… Hmm. Emily Blunt’s older sister is Felicity Blunt, married to Stanley Tucci, so it can’t be her. Even IMDB suspects someone big behind this pseudonym.
Another aside, this movie makes you ask yourself what? ‘Is this the first product of Hollywood in the Trump Administration?’ And, so Soderbergh must be psychic, since this movie hits a trend of ‘Real America’ leanings. From Bleeker Street on Aug. 18, and watch for more movies to hit this rustic-icana note in the 45 Era.

Enjoy  Trailer for Team Soderbergh’s Newest Film

Official Yada on Plot

“Trying to reverse a family curse, brothers Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde Logan (Adam Driver) set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the legendary Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.”
Not Paul Newman’s “Cool Hand Luke” Eggs, But Channing Tatum, Adam Driver & Daniel Craig Do Cool Stuff – WATCH

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Written by: Rebecca Blunt (as if?)

Produced by: Gregory Jacobs, Mark Johnson, Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin

Starring: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Katherine Waterson, Dwight Yoakam, Sebastian Stan, Brian Gleeson, Jack Quaid, with Hilary Swank and introducing Daniel Craig as Joe Bang

Official Site I Facebook I Instagram I Twitter

# # #


Break-Up School: Joachim Lafosse’s AFTER LOVE Has Bérénice Bejo vs Cédric Kahn

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

After eons of human existence, or a short hop since the Sexual Revolution of the 1960’s, we still haven’t learned how to do two things well: Die or Divorce. Even with Gwyneth Paltrow’s co-opted “Conscious Uncoupling,” the recent so-called shock split of Chris Pratt and Anna Faris, that followed Ben & Jen, and Brangelina. Life, art, and pop culture peel back one common truth: we don’t know what to do after Love. DSC00570 ∏Fabrizio MalteseEnter a new film by director Joachim Lafosse, AFTER LOVE, pitting THE ARTIST’s Bérénice Bejo against Cédric Kahn. It’s an exploration of this very subject. And a love-letter to all the ex-es out there looking to refit the broken pieces of their domestic bliss.

Photos: Fabrizio Maltese

Photos: Fabrizio Maltese – Courtesy of Distrib Films US

No surprise this film was in the Official Selection for Directors Fortnight – Cannes Film Festival, also at Toronto International Film Festival, London Film Festival, in AFI Fest and counting. [Original title is L’Economie du couple.]AfterLove_US_poster_675x1000What They’re Officially Saying About It

“From the director of Our Children Joachim Fosse, comes the story of Boris (Cédric Kahn) and Marie (Bérénice Bejo), a couple who have decided to separate after 15 years together. They have two girls that they adore, but tensions rise as cash-strapped Boris continues to live in the family home. Neither of the two is willing to compromise, making their apartment a war zone.

AFTER LOVE captures with great magnitude, the painfully intimate, harrowingly drama, emotional and financial complexities of a separation, at the end of a long love story.”

Watch What Happens AFTER LOVE

Presented by Distrib Film US, the movie opens Weds. Aug. 9 at The Quad in New York, then (updated) Sept. 1 in LA at the Laemmle Royal, followed by San Francisco’s 4 Star Cinema and a national roll-out to follow in September.

Director Joachim Lafosse

Director Joachim Lafosse


DIRECTED BY: Joachim Lafosse
STARRING: Bérénice Bejo (“The Artist”) , Cédric Kahn

Directors Fortnight – Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, London Film Festival, AFI Fest and many more.


Screenplay: Mazarine Pingeot, Fanny Burdino & Joachim Lafosse
Cinematography: Jean-François Hensgens

France / Belgium – 2016 – 100min – Color – Scope – 5.1 – Not Rated – Drama. In French with English Subtitles.

# # #


Henry James Gets Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Plus A Redgrave & A Richardson

by Screenmancer Staff Want some film news? Okay. This lazy heat of summer meets Summerstorm Entertainment (Germany) with an announcement about the Henry James adapt THE ASPERN PAPERS now shooting in Venice, Italy. They’ve added Jonathan Rhys Meyers to a cast that already includes some marquee names, notably Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, and Poppy Delevingne, as […]


Darren Aronofsky’s Grand Guignol, Or Look Now at His MOTHER!

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent You can literally pin down three “F” words to describe nearly every Darren Aronofsky film from his early work in PI (1998) to best-loved film REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000) to Mickey Rourke in THE WRESTLER (2008) to Natalie Portman’s Oscar-winning turn in BLACK SWAN (2010) to obsessive Russell […]


Que Cera, Cera? Michael Cera Resurfaces in PERSON TO PERSON Like Now

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent What do we know about 29 year-old Canadian actor Michael Cera? Well, he was 16 on hit TV show “Arrested Development” and brought that wise-old-young-man sensibility to alternative-feeling benchmark films like NICK & NORA’S INFINITE PLAYLIST and SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD. Add odd roles in JUNO with Oscar […]


Looks Like Ben Stiller Finds Himself Again With BRAD’S STATUS

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Hey, so Ben Stiller is back. Ignore that casual pop opening. (Smiley face.) It’s just in keeping with Stiller’s upcoming starrer from Amazon Studios, BRAD’S STATUS. You can Google up what this remade actor has been up to personally, because it shows in his work. Those are real tears, and […]


THOR Ragnarok: Hulk Gets Some Feelings Trailer 7/22

by Screenmancer Staff Before we get hammered by THOR: RAGNAROK on Nov. 3, when Cate Blanchett does her star turn as Death incarnate, and reads Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo the riot act, we thought you might like to see the newest Marvel teaser trailer on this project. Plus she’s got a hell of a […]


Before Kevin Spacey Locks the Gore Vidal Script for Netflix, A True Story

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Everyone from Iran to Serbia seems to be bent on letting me know there’s a Gore Vidal biopic in the works starring Kevin Spacey. And while Gore would definitely think Kevin Spacey is hot, one wonders what he would make of another *damnable biopic,* especially about himself now dead […]