Paris, Texas ★★★★★

There's some movies that when making a "Greatest/Essential Movies to Watch" list, you keep putting off and off because they may seem for daunting for some reason or another. I had been aware of Paris, Texas as one of the possible classics/best movies of the 80's for some time, always telling myself "I'll get to it eventually." "It will probably be another masterpiece, but I'll watch it some other time." For some reason I had Paris, Texas placed in my mind as a black and white, French New Wave-type snorefest (not that the black in white bothered me, it was more the French part - despite knowing it was directed by a German - that made me pause, lol). I saw this about 2 weeks before Harry Dean Stanton's death, and I knew his work from other great things he did, but with Paris, Texas I have a whole new awareness of Stanton as an actor, and wow, what a great and career defining performance. At the time of his passing, I'm glad I knew why every tribute to him started with "starred in Paris, Texas..." despite decades of other great work. It's that powerful of a performance. Nastassja Kinski is right alongside Stanton in their scenes together, heartbreaking stuff. Both peepshow scenes are amazing, especially the latter. I just wish Wenders had kept the camera on Kinski's face during Stanton's monologue as a single take while zooming in from Stanton's side of the peepbooth. Still also great directing effort from Wenders, and the dialogue writing from Shepard (not sure how much if any of the dialogue was improvised) was outstanding as well. The movie starts slow, but it is also emotionally rewarding as it goes. Great movie.