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Wim Wenders won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and had a major arthouse hit with this moody existential odyssey across the epic landscapes of the American Southwest.
“Paris, Texas is that rare thing: a movie of intelligence and beauty and poetry.” – Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
Adapted by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard and screenwriter L. M. Kit Carson from Shepard’s play, Motel Chronicles, Paris, Texas casts career character actor Harry Dean Stanton, in his first-ever lead role, as the mysterious, nearly-mute drifter Travis, who returns after a four-year absence to reclaim his young son (Hunter Carson, Kit’s son), who has been living with Travis’ brother (Dean Stockwell) in Los Angeles, and to search for his estranged wife (Nastassja Kinski). From this simple set-up, Wenders and Shepard produce a powerful statement on codes of masculinity and the myth of the American family, as well as a stunning visual exploration of a vast, crumbling world of deserts, canyons and neon, expertly captured by cinematographer Robbie Müller, whose visuals evoke the paintings of Edward Hopper, as well as the Western films of John Ford. Driven by a haunting slide-guitar score from Ry Cooder, Paris, Texas is one of Wenders’ most distinctive cinematic achievements. (Dir. by Wim Wenders, 1984, West Germany/France/UK/USA, in English, 147 mins., Rated R)