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PARIS, TEXAS

Director: WIM WENDERS

W. GERMANY-FRANCE • 1984 • COLOUR • 148 MIN


PARIS, TEXAS IS THE FILM THAT BROUGHT WENDERS INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM. IT IS ALSO A FILM THAT STRETCHED HIM TO THE LIMIT.
Because Sam Shepard’s screenplay explores the split between a sentimental attachment to the ideal of family and the impossibility of sustaining this ideal in practice, Wenders is compelled—for the first time in his work—to confront raw emotion. Travis (Harry Dean Stanton) is discovered wandering in the desert and is picked up by his brother Walt (Dean Stockwell). Four years earlier, Travis disappeared and his wife Jane (Nastassja Kinski) left their son Hunter (Hunter Carson) with Walt and his wife Ann (Aurore Clement) before she too vanished. In his brother’s home, Travis slowly recovers contact with reality and with his son—in so doing, he disturbs the family Walt and Ann have built up. The film is a spiritual odyssey, a sort of pilgrim’s progress that starts literally in the Valley of Death but ends not in the Celestial City but in a Houston that Wenders tartly nicknamed ‘Lego-Land’.

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