Paris, Texas

Paris, Texas ★★★★½

It was easier when I just imagined you. I even imagined you talking back to me. We'd have long conversations, the two of us. It was almost like you were there. I could hear you, I could see you, smell you. I could hear your voice. Sometimes your voice would wake me up. It would wake me up in the middle of the night, just like you were in the room with me. Then... it slowly faded. I couldn't picture you anymore. I tried to talk out loud to you like I used to, but there was nothing there...And now I'm working here. I hear your voice all the time. Every man has your voice.

Earlier this year I watched Paris, Texas for the first time. It felt warm, but unknowable at the same time. It was like a lighthouse on some far-off shore. But, after my first viewing, I was only sure of one thing: I needed another viewing.

So, today, I decided to return to it. About thirty minutes in I was crying - sobbing actually - and it didn't let up until the credits rolled. This movie that had felt as isolated as Jane behind her one-way glass all of a sudden felt immediate and intensely intimate. Going off to college is a bizarre experience. You may not pine for your parents like a lost puppy, but all the sacrifices and warmth that your parents give you become all the more apparent. Even if you're miles away, you feel connected somehow to them; like you could reach out and touch them if you really tried. But, at the same time, you know that you can't.

So, when Hunter tells his dad, "I could always feel you walking around; talking someplace."I understood precisely what he meant. And, Wenders visualizes this love beautifully - if in a bit of a heavy handed way - with the red hats and shirts and jackets that Hunter, Travis, and Jane wear. The vast flatlands of Texas may ache of the loneliness each of these characters feels, but this link is what binds them together.

I give Paris, Texas a 4.5/5. This is one of the absolute greats.

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