Paris, Texas

Paris, Texas ★★★★★

How odd to have started this particular week with Into the Wild, which I'd seen, and to end it with this one, which I hadn't. I got the DVD on the cover of a magazine 13 years ago, ironically on my way to Paris, France, and thought it'd be interesting to watch it on the coach there, or while there, but I never got around to it, and eventually lost the DVD. I think whenever the opportunity arose since then, it always seemed too long, or I might've thought it was in German maybe because of being directed by Wim Wenders (that wouldn't put me off completely, just I tend to be more doubtful of having the concentration necessary to watch subtitled movies sometimes); or I just thought, though it might be pretty from what I'd seen/heard, I could almost see the whole movie, I imagined it to be a fairly meandering, inconsequential thing (already I've seen some people describing it exactly so…) … maybe that's why it surprised me so much, because I couldn't have been more wrong.

What it has in common with Into the Wild is the lone figure wishing to get out of society - before the movie begins and then again at the end - for very different reasons. What's different in Paris, Texas is that that loner actually makes a big change in his world before leaving it - at least the second time (if he's leaving, that is).

I'm not usually too bothered, even when it comes to my all time favourites, that I haven't seen too many of them on the big screen, but every now and then something like this comes along that I make a mental note to keep an eye out for in cinemas. The breathtaking views of the mojave desert with Ry Cooder's score soaring over them, of course they'd look beautiful projected on a big screen - but it's the last two scenes, where I truly fell in love with this film (and I don't do that often these days on a first viewing) - the two way mirror scene between Stanton and Kinski, that long lingering closeup of her listening to his monologue, and the last bittersweet moments - that I can only imagine are electrifying seen with a crowd. I was completely knocked down by them and it's hard really to come up with anything else to say but it's instantly going into my top 50 at least.

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