Paris, Texas

drama, romantični, France, West Germany, 1984

DIRECTED BY: Wim Wenders

Paris, Texas

Harry Dean Stanton,
Nastassja Kinski,
Dean Stockwell,
Aurore Clément,
Hunter Carson

L. M. Kit Carson,
Sam Shepard

Robby Müller

Ry Cooder

Peter Przygodda


Wandering alone in the desert regions of South Texas, a man dressed in a dusty suit and with a red cap on his head, in search of water, enters a dilapidated bar. When he doesn't find her, he puts a handful of ice from the refrigerator in his mouth and passes out from the heat. And when the doctor soon asks him certain questions, the man's answer will be silence.

However, the doctor finds the phone number of his brother Walt, who agrees to come pick him up during the conversation and discovers that it is Travis Henderson. Although Travis will soon wander off again, Walt will manage to find him again and find out what's bothering him through a conversation.

Namely, Walt did not hear from Travis for four full years, and during that period Walt and his wife Anne took care of Travis' now seven-year-old son Hunter. When they meet again in Los Angeles, the brothers will watch a few movies together from some happier times, in which Travis was with his wife Jane. In the meantime, all traces of her have been lost, but Anne is optimistic at least because Jane from a bank in Houston regularly deposits money for Hunter.

After learning this, Travis and Hunter go to Houston one day without the knowledge of Walt and Anna, and from their car on the street they see Jane leaving the bank. Finding a woman he still deeply loves will prompt Travis to follow her to a strip club.

In 1984, at the Cannes festival, crowned with the Palme d'Or, the FIPRESCI International Federation of Film Critics Award and the Ecumenical Jury Award, a year later four nominations for the most prestigious British film award BAFTA, including the most important for best film and direction, awarded in the category of the most successful adapted screenplay, for which Sam Shepard is responsible, and also nominated for the Golden Globe in the category of the best foreign film in 1985, the excellent psychological existential romantic drama of the director Wim Wenders is an anthology achievement and according to many his best film, or at least the one that competes with the masterpiece the work Nebo nad Berlin competes for the title of the best.

For the success of the work in which the brilliant and to a good extent iconic character actor Harry Dean Stanton played his most important and recognizable, literally emblematic role, the extremely thoughtful and extremely suggestive and atmospheric direction of one of the champions of the so-called of the new German film of the 70s is equally deserving as the excellent, realistic and life-filled dialogue script of the famous playwright and actor Sam Shepard. It is certainly worth highlighting the impressive, very emotional and emphatically authentic interpretations of the entire cast, especially the aforementioned Harry Dean Stanton and Nastassja Kinski, who played her best role in the character of Jane Henderson.

It is a modern version of the western that, on the one hand, in an unobtrusive but extremely effective way, revitalized the myth of the old Wild West from the eponymous Ford Explorers, and on the other hand, introduced European aesthetics and sensibility into American film and the southwest of the 'new world', thanks in part to to the ambiguous title (Paris), and more to the fact that Wenders was then at the peak of his creative power.

Extremely deftly changing and using semantically key locations, from the Mexican desert to the dusty Texas town of Paris to the hyperurban exteriors of Los Angeles, and after reducing the space intimately and emotionally inimitably making a point in a long cathartic dialogue sequence of a conversation between one man and one woman who were made for each other, sequence that takes place in two rooms separated by a glass partition, Wenders has created a layered study of character and human relations, mostly relying on the masterful acting skills of Stanton and his also eponymous character of the restrained ``searcher'' for his own identity and his reconstruction of Travis Henderson.

"Let the clothes do the acting, and you just be who you are", is Jack Nicholson's advice, which, according to Stanton himself, significantly determined his acting expression. Indeed, Harry Dean Stanton was an actor of strong physical appearance, his physicality is an important feature of all his characters, he is always (was) a thin, resigned and somewhat lost melancholic looking for his place in the world, a man of few words who speaks with his body and facial expressions faces.

There are no easy solutions in the film Paris, Texas, the end may also be a new beginning of the drama whose exposition we followed, and all the mentioned characteristics as well as the multiplicity of meanings and the richness of the weaving Wenders' film can also thank the model of the now sadly deceased Sam Shepard, according to many the greatest contemporary American playwright who said of Stanton that he is one of the actors aware that their face speaks for itself.

Text author: Josip Grozdanić

color, 147'