Paris, Texas (1984)
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Travis (Harry Dean Stanton) is wandering through the Texas desert, a bit shaky and in desperate need of water, when he stumbles into a bar and collapses. A German doctor of dubious credentials finds a phone number in Travis' wallet, which belongs to his brother, Walt (Dean Stockwell). Walt is shocked to hear about his brother's condition, since no one in the family has seen or heard from Travis in four years; Walt flies to Texas to bring him home, only to find Travis wandering by the side of the road, and they begin the long drive back to Los Angeles, where Walt lives with his wife, Anne (Aurore Clement), and Hunter (Hunter Carson), Travis' seven-year-old son. At first, Travis refuses to speak and is oddly distant, but in time he begins to talk again, and when he arrives in California, he begins the painful process of reacquainting himself with his son and trying to reconcile with his wife, Jane (Nastassia Kinski). ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Paris, Texas
[VIDEO ESSAY] Written by Sam Shepherd, and adapted by L.M. Kit Carson, the linear story for "Paris, Texas" contains the hallmarks of Shepherd's characteristic dramatic themes...
one of Wenders's best films, a stirring portrait of people striving against their disconnect that resists simple answers even as it rewards our emotional investment.
One of the few films that has captured the beauty of the American southwest in all its rolling desert glory.
Paris, Texas may be missing a crucial piece of authentic Americana, but it still evokes an America most Americans yearn to gaze on.
... the mix of [Wim] Wenders' sensibilities and love of American movies and Sam Shepard's spare writing and take on fractured American families creates a sublime vision.
Deservedly winning Cannes Fest top award, Wim Wenders' brilliant film is a personal meditation on the relative power of images and words, as well as a contribution to the modern Western and journey pictures as uniguely American genres.
Paris, Texas is that rare thing: a movie of intelligence and beauty and poetry, but also based on emotionally believable characters and a forward-moving, narrative thrust.
Paris, Texas uses the familiar thematic construct of the Western, and is conducted in somber nostalgia.
Wenders' slow, moody style isn't for everyone, but this is the epitome of it
Audience Reviews for Paris, Texas
A man wordlessly stumbles out of the desert after disappearing without a trace four years previously and sets about reclaiming his lost family. Harry Dean Stanton is one of those faces that everyone knows without knowing they know; a remarkable character actor who took very few lead roles. His wonderfully understated performance is the centrepiece to Wim Wenders' road movie dealing with love and loss that's chock full of beautiful imagery. In fact it's a little ironic that it took a German to capture so completely the "feel" of middle America but this piece of audio-visual poetry is one of the purest examples of mainstream cinema as an art form. No-one could fail to be captivated by his scenes with estranged wife Nastassja Kinski whose first appearance on screen has become an iconic image. Its ponderous pace and lengthy running time will not appeal to those looking for action or melodrama, but Paris, Texas is more an experience than a piece of entertainment and if approached as such is rather unforgettable.More
Eyes glued to the screen from beginning to end. Plus my favorite score of all time, provided by Ry Cooder, interpreting Dark Was The Night by Blind Willie Johnson.More
In terms of film-making, the term "simple" is often used as a pejorative. But sometimes the simplest of stories can yield some of the most compelling results. Win Wenders' 1984 "Paris, Texas", is a modest yet moving portrait of a man in search of his roots. Harry Dean Stanton is as amazing as ever as a man who, after a four year separation from his family, has come back find who he was/is.
Much like Wenders' "Wings of Desire", much attention is given to the setting to show how seemingly insignificant we are in comparison to our surroundings. Yet, rather than war torn Germany, Paris, Texas features panoramic shots of the Texas badlands. With a character so arcane and withdrawn from the world, Wenders utilizes the power of atmosphere coupled with Stanton's acting prowess to fill in the parts of the story where the words won't suffice.
It is a story about the path to finding one's identity and Wenders finds so many ways to convey this journey.The freeway scene is a brilliant metaphor for how we as humans go through life. We seem to be traveling down this open road at breakneck speed, making last minute lane changes in hopes to catch up with the life we so desire.
The film moves at a snails pace, but I get the sense that Wenders doesn't want to rush Travis' journey. I think it is a smart touch as by the films conclusion, one feels that we were allowed to drink in so much of his life that his image kind of sticks with us. There have been many times in my life where I have felt like a Travis and I think the film beautifully encapsulates the confusing and often heart wrenching journey that one must take in order to find out who they really are.
poetic in that it is simple in some ways, but epic in others and very emotionally compelling. the film has been described as the great german director wim wender's love letter to america. the beautiful cinematography brings an appeal to the southwest not noticed by most passers by, and the musical score is absolutely masterful. the performances were outstanding, and the characters and story unfolded perfectly, until the last scene, about which im not sure how i feel. it is odd to see a story told so well until the realization that two of our most important characters are left in the dust of the desert the film is set in, and all i keep thinking is "what happened to walt and anne?" this is the one thing holding the film back from masterpiece status, but it is still one of the best films i have ever seen.More
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