Paris, Texas

Paris, Texas ★★★★★

this review contains light spoilers

Wim Wenders closes Wings of Desire with a "Dedicated to all the former angels, but especially to Yasujiro, François and Andrej" three of the director's biggest influences; referring to Ozu, Truffaut and Tarkovsky respectively. Yet it's in Paris, Texas that the dedication to Ozu feels the most applicable, more understandable. His favourite of filmmakers and the one in which his influence is most felt.
Robby Müller's expert cinematography, coupled with Wenders' own photographic eye, create so many gorgeous still-lifes and landscapes -- the Americana equivalent to Ozu's pillow shots; making the world these characters inhabit feel all the more real and lived in. There's not a single misplaced or unnecessary shot in the entire picture, each one worthy of framing.

With this viewing I was lucky enough to see this in my favourite cinema on 35mm. I was overwhelmed with emotion from the first few frames even though I've seen the same shot pass by on 6 occasions now. I manage to pick up on something new every time I see it -- now focusing on the nature of love and the finitude it seems to have. There's a longing to be with the people you love but knowing it can't last. Travis runs from every opportunity he has to reconnect with his family in these first 20 minutes and the way his complicated and heartbreaking past slowly reveals itself over the course of the remainder of the picture still feels perfectly paced, never close to unnatural; bringing me to tears each and every time.
Nastassja Kinski is perfect and every minute, every second she is on screen is to be treasured; as with just about every member of the cast. Dean Stockwell is great as ever, Hunter Carson is the single greatest child actor ever put in front of a camera, Aurore Clement is angelic, etc.
Harry Dean Stanton's performance is nothing short of impeccable and sits just under Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under the Influence as my all time favourite. I feel like I miss Harry Dean more and more every time I think about him. What a treasure.

What I wouldn't give to see this film for the first time again.

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