Bertrand Tavernier remembers Harry Dean Stanton

"He had a dry sense of humour and some very strange interests"

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Death Watch director Bertrand Tavernier on Harry Dean Stanton: "He also had social graces and immediately knew how to talk, to Romy Schneider who immediately liked him."
Death Watch director Bertrand Tavernier on Harry Dean Stanton: "He also had social graces and immediately knew how to talk, to Romy Schneider who immediately liked him."

Bertrand Tavernier's Death Watch (La Mort En Direct), based on the novel by David Compton with original music by Antoine Duhamel (Fernando Trueba's favourite composer), shot by Pierre-William Glenn in Scotland, stars Romy Schneider and Harvey Keitel with Max von Sydow and Harry Dean Stanton. The My Journey Through French Cinema (Voyage à Travers Le Cinéma Français) director shared his memory of the time he spent with Harry Dean, talking about John Huston (Stanton fresh off filming Huston's Wise Blood with Brad Dourif and Amy Wright), Romy Schneider's reaction to the man with "social graces", and Jack Nicholson's admiration for the great talent that Harry Dean Stanton possessed.

Harry Dean Stanton in his last starring role in John Carroll Lynch's Lucky with David Lynch who plays Howard
Harry Dean Stanton in his last starring role in John Carroll Lynch's Lucky with David Lynch who plays Howard

"Harry Dean was not only a superb actor, intense, getting in the centre of every emotion (Jack Nicholson said that if he succeeded in being as true, as organic in one film as Harry Dean Stanton was in everything he did, it would be a great achievement), he was also very funny in a mysterious, unpredictable kind of way. I remember drinking with him at the end of a very long day, during Death Watch, and suddenly he looked at me 'Bertrand, can we verbalise the concept of Christ?' Very difficult question at 11:58pm. He had a dry sense of humour and some very strange interests mixing religion, poker, John Huston. He also had social graces and immediately knew how to talk, to Romy Schneider who immediately liked him." - Bertrand Tavernier

Death Watch will screen at the Quad Cinema on Saturday, September 23 at 3:45pm as part of Also Starring Harry Dean Stanton and Film & Nothing But: Bertrand Tavernier.

Amy Wright with Harry Dean Stanton in John Huston's Wise Blood
Amy Wright with Harry Dean Stanton in John Huston's Wise Blood

Wise Blood can be seen on Saturday, September 23 at 8:35pm screened in 35mm in Also Starring Harry Dean Stanton.

John Carroll Lynch's Lucky, screenplay by Drago Sumonja and Logan Sparks, starring Harry Dean Stanton with David Lynch, Ron Livingston, Beth Grant, Tom Skerritt, James Darren, and Ed Begley Jr., will premiere at the Quad Cinema on September 29 and at the London Film Festival next month.

My Journey Through French Cinema is in cinemas in the US and as Journey Through French Cinema in the UK.

The Quad Cinema Also Starring Harry Dean Stanton runs from September 22 through October 3 with 17 of the 21 films screened on 35mm.

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