Paris, Texas (1984)

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Paris, Texas

I had the opportunity to watch this film recently, and I’m glad I did. I wasn’t familiar with the work of Wim Wenders but now after seeing this film I’d like to check out more of his filmography. I honestly felt like this film was just refreshing and captivating the way it portrays the Texan landscape. Its beautifully shot and the authenticity of the setting heightens the atmosphere of a man like Travis traveling across the state, trying to reassemble his life.

Harry Dean Stanton stars in this film about a quiet man walking through the desert mysteriously, until his brother locates him and tries to get him back to see his abandoned son. His son is young so he does not know his father well, so Travis (Stanton’s character) must try to build a relationship with his son. He also is on a pursuit to find his long lost wife and when he finally finds her emotions ensue. The film is a slow build but I think the cinematography is a joy to behold during the wait.

One thing I have to really commend about this film is the sheer authenticity and simplicity of the film. Its very straightforward yet there is such complexity in the characters of the film. I think the two scenes with the two way mirrors between Stanton and Kinski were just so raw and sharply written. It puts a smile on your face and you become curious as to how bad their relationship must have been and the steps needed to recover and find themselves together again.

I can’t praise Robby Muller’s cinematography enough in this film. Its so encompassing of Southern America and the journey of the protagonist. There’s a sheer beauty to all of what we see in the film. Dean Stanton is perfect, he’s always wonderful when I see him especially in his pairings with David Lynch. Haven’t seen so much of Nastassja Kinski in the past but she is absolutely perfect and stunning in the screen time that she is given. Highly recommended, a film that doesn’t really typify films of the 80’s but you just feel as if it something that captures decades past in America.

8/10

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