Saturday, February 21, 2009
Paris, Texas; Drama, Germany/ France/ USA, 1984; D: Wim Wenders, S: Harry Dean Stanton, Dean Stockwell, Hunter Carson, Nastassja Kinski
An exhausted man, Travis, walks through the Texas desert and falls unconscious from exhaustion. A local doctor takes care of him and calls his brother Walt from Los Angeles to pick him up. Walt shows up, but Travis is already gone, and when he finds him with his car he doesn't want to say a word. Then he finally speaks up - about Paris, a small place in Texas where his parents met and about his search for wife Jane who left him for his violent nature. Travis' son is in Walt's home and forgives him for leaving him. He and Travis go to Houston to find Jane. They find her how she works in a Peepshow. He begs her to forgive him and leaves, while she finally sees her son again.
One of the most famous films by peculiar director Wim Wenders, based on a story by Sam Shepard, winner of the Golden Palm in Cannes, "Paris, Texas" is a minimalistic drama about small people and unnoticed nuances between human relationships. Subtle direction and even tone make this film undeniably a work of quality, but one has to warn about the lack of highlights and, especially, Wender's tendency to drag until it becomes boring. Without humor or dynamic, "Paris, Texas" still copes well but it seems stripped, whereas it wasn't quite the best choice to make the crucial character, Jane (Nastassja Kinski), appear only at the end of the film. Because of it's suggestive tone, many critics could see a lot more in some empty scenes that there really is, because it wouldn't have been so bad if the film was more inventive and multi-layered, while the characters are ordinary and don't reveal anything new at frequent viewings. It is a classic, but, like most of Wenders' films, it has too much empty walk.