Movies that are slightly off.
A place for dreams. A place for heartbreak. A place to pick up the pieces.
A man wanders out of the desert not knowing who he is. His brother finds him, and helps to pull his memory back of the life he led before he walked out on his family and disappeared four years earlier.
"I knew these people. These two people. They were in love with each other. The girl was very young, about 17 or 18, I guess. And the guy was quite a bit older. He was kind of raggedy and wild. And she was very beautiful, you know... And together they turned everything into a kind of adventure. And she liked that. Just an ordinary trip down to the grocery store was full of adventure. They were always laughing at stupid things. He liked to make her laugh, and they didn't much care for anything else because all they wanted to do was be with each other. They were always together...…
"And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them."
Thus, did Moses wander the desert for 40 years. And though he was allowed to see the promised land, he was not able to enter it. His only solace was leading others to it, that they might enter and lead a better life than him.
Wenders and Stanton wiped me out with this one. Hopefully I'll one day flesh out the correlations implied above, but for now, the possibility that Wenders has so masterfully woven analogies to the Torah in…
Watching Wim Wender's visual lullaby Paris, Texas for the first time, I was reminded how incredible it can be to enter a film knowing very little.
I've been aware of Paris, Texas since Primal Scream sampled a line of dialogue on a favourite song of mine, (I'm Coming Down' from '91's Screamadelica) and with its content, i'd only ever noted the film as being the definitive 'road movie'. That is all the information I carried in with me.
By the end credits I knew, felt even, that i'd just seen something very special. I'd been a passenger to Wim's driver for the duration (2 and half hours), clueless to where the film would go next but absolutely in love with…
A man, so defeated by heartbreak, wanders the desert for four years in an attempt to...
...to what? Find the words? Forget? Escape? We all have felt like this before. Something so overwhelmingly difficult presents itself to us and all we want to do is run away. Just leave. Forget everything and everyone and just fucking walk away. I cannot tell you how many times I've wanted to drop my entire life and go live in the woods. I've been on the verge of destroying my computer and TV and bed and shoes and clothes and simply walking out of town into the wilderness, away from the stifling confines of civilization and its concrete jungles. I want a natural jungle.…
The Good: Flat-out stunning cinematography by Robby Müller. All those landscapes and vibrant colors... Wow. This is definitely one of the most gorgeous-looking films ever made. Incredible performances from Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, and Hunter Carson. Haunting slide guitar score by Ry Cooder. Masterful direction by Wim Wenders. Excellent writing by Sam Shepard and L.M. Kit Carson. Perfect pacing. The peep booth scenes. And that monologue... Fuck, it's like a sledgehammer to the heart. Top it off with a bittersweet ending and I'm left in pieces, completely awestruck.
The Bad: Nothing major. Acting is a little iffy at spots during the first half, most notably Aurore Clément's.
The Bottom Line: Heartbreak has never been more beautiful. If you have yet to see this cinematic masterpiece, you're missing out, big time. Paris, Texas is one of those films that will forever be imprinted in your heart and mind. Essential viewing.
The broad empty landscapes of dusky Southern American seem impossible to fill, such is the scope and size of the land. Yet one man has walked for what seems like forever, a solitary figure burning with quiet determination, pervading everything around him. With the remnants of home laying far behind life can only move on when this journey is at an end.
The mystery that lies underneath this man's sad, deep brown eyes is in no hurry to reveal itself. Four years spent wandering figuratively and literally through the wilderness has left it buried deep inside, its burning coals the only thing to sustain him for so long. Any tears have long been dried out…
eu vo morre
I could always feel you walking around and talking someplace.
There's a kind of vastness to Paris, Texas. In the spaces between dialogue, though, emotions fill in the gaps where story fails to give answers. We're never fully admitted to peek behind the one-way glass to see all of the sad and sorry emotions wafting between characters, but this mystique keeps the performances and writing just vague enough to be honest. There's a lot more to digest, but I'll leave that for repeat viewings. What I can say now is that Paris, Texas is one of the great works of cinema. Though the acting in a scene or two felt slightly stilted, this is simply mandatory viewing. I give Paris, Texas a 4.5/5.
This film is a German-French coproduction, so it is interesting as a product of how Americans are viewed by the Europeans. Every scene seems to contain images of something that is decaying or something that is being built. Cars are everywhere. Expansive desert vistas mirror the barrenness of the main character's inner life. Motion is seen as an antidote to pain. The final confrontation between Harry Dean Stanton and Nastassja Kinski is very moving, and the plight of Stanton's character at the end of the film is heartbreaking.
Dear Lord that was good. Stanton's monologue toward the end? Damn.
A man who's been missing for four years is found in Texas when he collapses in a bar from dehydration. After being taken in by his brother, he tries to put his life back together by reaching out to his abandoned son and wife. With all the praise this film gets it was a bit of a disappointment. Very well made (with some amazing lighting and cinematography), but there is something lacking in the writing that made it difficult for me to become attached to the characters. Also, there was just not enough material to justify the almost 2.5 hour length that starts and ends powerfully, but sags in the middle. Wenders tries a little too hard to be Antonioni and comes up short.
Too slow and pretentious
I used to own this film on VHS and have seen it many times on my tiny 13" TV/VCR combo set. What a treat to be able to see the 4K restoration of this film on the big screen. The restoration was excellent, and the film still makes me weep.
this was... beautiful
i'll probably give it a higher grade upon a rewatch
[Note to future self trying to find your previous review of this film: Just watch it again, damnit!]
For when that friend asks you to introduce him to some really great films. This list is not meant to…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…