Paris, Texas Reviews
This is film at its least & most minimalist to tell a Shepard story probably best left between the covers of the book - which was the reason for watching this on the day of Shepard's passing. Almost as bad is the soundtrack. By the end you'll want to find a dobro & smash it on your DVD player. The Reviews are misleading, and this opinion from a film buff of many types & genres, foreign & domestic. There's nearly nothing here that isn't a waste of time. Slow & almost goofy in places. Let's take the 8mm footage: It has the requisite cliched scratches & zoomy shakiness. But it's not shot & shown at 18-fps. A German director's sophomore mistake & part of what imparts to 8mm its home movie look - as it's supposed to have here.
This production is one of those weird films that acquires some kind of cult following among critics & the moon-eyed Burning Man pod people. It's not good - and why it's appraised as such by so many here is a mystery. Even Dennis Hopper was trotted-out to weigh-in in the extra materials; but he didn't seem that enthusiastic either.
Im not sure Paris, Texas is a movie Im gonna watch again, not because its bad, but because the first time experiencing the emotionally deep story of Travis and the way the whole production comes together to squeeze the poetic out of the small things, has no point of comparison.
All in all, it was a fantastic movie with a slow pace and a telling story. So warning, this is not for those who crave big action sequences - go watch Transformers.
The film follows Stanton's protagonist, Travis, as he attempts to rebuild his relationship with his son Hunter, and his wife Jane, after mysteriously going missing for years. What ensues is a moving portrait of a man who must ultimately sacrifice his own happiness for that of those he loves.
This film is a contemporary Western, using the genres features and translating it into a modern-day setting. What we get because of this is both a beautiful look at the American South-West and a poetic journey with a mysterious, flawed protagonist, who ultimately redeems himself, a clear play on the Western genre conventions. It mimics films like Shane and The Searchers through the nature of its lead.
This film, despite its 150-minute runtime, is incredibly rewarding even after multiple watches. Because it plays on such well-recognised genre features, we know how this film will end. He will take Hunter to Jane, and due to his jealous and manipulative personality, he will leave so that those he loves can live a happy life. Film to me is less about the destination and more about the journey, and for a road movie like Paris, Texas this is perfect. We experience what Travis experiences, we feel his emotions, see the world with him, and are crushed by the finale despite the inevitable nature of it. What rewards us is not the finale, but the road to it. Just describing this masterpiece cannot do full justice to it, it is a must see for lovers of cinema.
Consonance of cinematic perfection from the camera trough the direction to the soundrack.
In contrast to its deeply American aesthetic, which is fantastic, the movie's themes are the antithesis of the unbridled American dream. A man on a quest to lose what he has earned and return what he feels he does not deserve. A very surprising story given that it was made in the middle of a decade of hedonistic materialism.
The pacing may put some people off as it takes an exceptionally long time to tell a very simple story, but for the most part it worked for me as it gave the sense that this was a small part of a larger chapter of Travis' life. The cinematography also captures some of the best shots of the Southwest I've ever seen, they almost make Texas not seem like a complete cesspool, until the end of the film.
Very nice movie.