• James Rutherford

'Paris, Texas': Wim Wenders' Deeply Absorbing Meditation on Alienation and Restoration


Movie poster for Wim Wender's Paris, Texas starring Harry Dean Stanton and Nastassja Kinski

"Paris, Texas" (1984) is a deeply absorbing drama starring Harry Dean Stanton as Travis, a West Texan man in search of his lost wife Jane (Nastassja Kinski). Found wandering the desert in a state of dissociative fugue and unable to speak or identify himself, Travis is ultimately reconnected with his long-lost brother Walt (Dean Stockwell) through the assistance of a kindly local doctor. Retrieving Travis and bringing him to his home in Los Angeles, Walt reunites Travis with his son Hunter (Hunter Carson) who has been adopted by Walt and his wife Anne (Aurore Clément) after Travis' mysterious disappearance several years earlier. Learning from Anne of Jane's current residence in Houston, Texas, Walt and Hunter set off on a road trip of reconnection and discovery, as they search for the beloved wife and mother they both desperately yearn for. Written by L. M. Kit Carson in collaboration with renowned playwright Sam Shepard and directed by German filmmaker Wim Wenders ("Wings of Desire", "The Salt of the Earth"), "Paris, Texas" is an acutely compelling tale of dispossession, alienation and the unassailable fortitude of familial ties. Highlighted by Shepard's trademark brand of erudite dialogue and showcasing utterly extraordinary camerawork courtesy of Dutch cinematographer Robby Müller, it's a wonderfully unique and entirely captivating tale of existential exploration and profound restoration.

 

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