Paris, Texas

Paris, Texas ★★★★★

Around the World in Cinema 2019 - USA/France/Germany/UK

Mini-Festival 2019 #2f: Wim Wenders

(Five reviews, give or take, per Mini-Festival, no pissing about with getting the reviews written afterwards unless long form; this time, taking advantage of the MUBI streaming special, the work of New Germany Cinema legend Wim Wenders with intention of digging through as much of his filmography onwards beyond MUBI's selections)

It wasn't going to be a surprise, revisiting one of Wenders' best known films, I'd still love it. Nearly two and a half hours long, that is nonetheless used for good cause in building an intimate character drama - one entirely revealing a side of Wenders like Alice in the City which could've been lost in his more stern or genre based work, a heartfelt (but subdued) sense of emotion which even permeates those entries in his filmography too. In knowledge of the two screen writers behind Paris, Texas, the virtue of the final work is even more rewarding and fascinating - Sam Shepard's career including Zabriskie Point and co-writing Bob Dylan's infamous (and hidden) Renaldo and Clara; L.M. Kit Carson the screenwriter for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2; both with a profound sense of Americana which for a director who naturally adapted to it fit to it with ease. That this frankly unconventional trio, alongside the cast, made a film this poignant is a testament to them.

Also, if there was ever a film that was a gift for character actors, Nastassja Kinski deserving that accolade from her work here alone, a film like this would be it. The telephone confessional near the end is legendary, but the countless scenes of Harry Dean Stanton and Dean Stockwell as brothers, even in the early awkward ones, are just as magical. If ever a duo had a visible chemistry, this pair did.