Mar 14, 2010

21st March 2010; Wim Wender's PARIS TEXAS

Paris Texas
A film by Wim Wenders
Year: 1984
Run time: 147 min
English with English subtitles
21st March 2010; 5.45 pm
Perks Mini Theatre
Perks School, Off Trichy Road, Coimbatore
Call : 94430 39630
The man comes walking out of the desert like a Biblical figure, a penitent who has renounced the world. He wears jeans and a baseball cap, the universal costume of America, but the scraggly beard, the deep eye sockets and the tireless lope of his walk tell a story of wandering in the wilderness. What is he looking for? Does he remember?
This is a defiantly individual film, about loss and loneliness and eccentricity. We haven't met the characters before in a dozen other films. The characters in this movie come out of the imagination of Sam Shepard, the playwright of rage and alienation, and Wim Wenders, a West German director who often makes "road movies," in which lost men look for answers in the vastness of great American cities.
The lost man is played this time by Harry Dean Stanton, the most forlorn and angry of all great American character actors. We never do find out what personal cataclysm led to his walk in the desert, but as his memory begins to return, we learn how much he has lost. He was married, once, and had a little boy.
"Paris, Texas" is more concerned with exploring emotions than with telling a story. This isn't a movie about missing persons, but about missing feelings. The images in the film show people framed by the vast, impersonal forms of modern architecture; the cities seem as empty as the desert did in the opening sequence.

It's indeed a beautiful film, one that will surely convince doubters that Muller is one of the cinema's best cameramen. He gives the story a surface polish that hints of Edward Hopper and Georgia O'Keefe Americana paintings. Some images are positively breathtaking.

This is Wenders's fourth film shot at least partly in America (the others were "Alice in the Cities," "The American Friend," and "Hammett"). It also bears traces of "Kings of the Road," his German road movie in which two men meet by chance and travel for a time together, united by their mutual inability to love and understand women. But it is better than those movies -- it's his best work so far -- because it links the unforgettable images to a spare, perfectly heard American idiom.
~ Source: Internet

Wim Wenders

Born in Dusseldorf just after the end of World War II, German film director Wim Wenders grew up with an insatiable appetite for movies. After studying medicine and philosophy in his native country, Wenders took up art study in and then returned to his homeland to attend Munich's Academy of Film and Television. Wenders began his career writing film criticism before directing a few short subjects of his own; in 1970 he and several other young filmmakers formed a production-distribution firm, Filmverlag Der Autoren. Summer in the City (1970) was Wenders' first feature film, but it was his 1973 adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter that first brought him attention outside Germany.

Wenders began his "road movie" cycle, inspired by such American pictures as Easy Rider (1970) and Two Lane Blacktop (1971). Three films in this genre followed in quick succession: Alice in the Cities (1974), The Wrong Move (1975) and Kings of the Road (1976).

For his first English-language picture, The American Friend (1977), Wenders cast three of his American movie idols: actor Dennis Hopper (director/star of Easy Rider) and "cult" directors Nicholas Ray (Rebel Without a Cause) and Samuel Fuller (The Steel Helmet). Wenders would later co-direct a film with Ray, Lightning Over Water (1980). Wenders' American-financed films Hammett (1980) and Paris, Texas (1983) were remarkable in their evocation of time and place.

Wenders' return to German filmmaking was rewarded in 1987 with the release of Der Himmel über Berlin, or Wings of Desire. The story of an angel who wants to become human after finding earthly love met with an enthusiastic international response, culminating in a slew of honors for Wenders (including a 1987 Cannes Best Director award, a 1988 European Film Academy award for Best Director, and a host of awards from the New York Film Critics Circle) and an eventual American remake, the 1998 City of Angels.

In the 1990s, Wenders' love of on-the-road location filming was again manifested in such films as Until the End of the World (1991) and Faraway So Close (1993. In 1995, Wenders made a road movie of a different sort with Par-Dela Les Nuages / Beyond the Clouds, which he co-directed with legendary Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni. A documentary about Cuban music, the film was the result of a successful collaboration between Wenders and musician Ry Cooder, who had previously supplied the score for the director's Paris, Texas.

~ Source: Internet

1 comment:

மீனாட்சி சுந்தரம் said...

Dear Anand Sir,

I just saw this movie in Blu-Ray. I have never experienced America in a movie like this before. Robert Muller's photography is out of the world.
I really liked the way the story was told.

I wouldn't have seen this movie if I hadn't seen your post.