|7:15 p.m.||Paris, Texas|
Wim Wenders (Claire Denis, assistant director) (W. Germany/France, 1984)
Paris, Texas, aptly titled, evokes something foreign in the American experience. The film is inspired by Sam Shepard’s Motel Chronicles—in particular, “the image of somebody leaving the freeway and walking straight into the desert,” according to director Wenders. That somebody is Harry Dean Stanton’s Travis, who staggers into the film on returning from nowhere, where he’s been for a number of years. Travis tentatively reunites with his young son, Hunter, and together they hit the road in search of the boy’s mother; the dream of making the family whole again finds its nightmare edge when Mom (Nastassja Kinski) is found working in a peep show. Still, Travis persists, reaching her on her own terms: through glass. Robby Müller’s cinematography pursues a fantasy of the American West in capturing its more bizarre reality, much as Travis and Hunter pursue a fantasy of the American family amid the choked violence of the one they have.
• Written by Sam Shepard. Adapted by L. M. Kit Carson. Photographed by Robby Müller. With Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell, Aurore Clement. (145 mins, Color, 35mm, From Janus Films/Criterion Collection)