that a very simple storyline
can be woven into one of the best films
of its time is Paris, Texas arguably
best film and now
available on DVD...
FOUR YEARS AFTER DISAPPEARING without trace, Travis Henderson (Harry Dean Stanton)
walks out of the desert and collapses at a gas station from where he is taken
to Terlingua Medical Clinic in South Texas, refusing to speak.
Dr Ulmer (Bernard Wicki), calls his astonished brother Walt (Dean Stockwell)
using a telephone number from a card in Travis' pocket. When he arrives in a
hire car, Walt is told by Dr Ulmer that he can have his brother's possessions
if he settles the "reward".
But the problems have only just begun. First of all, Travis disappears from
the clinic and Walt goes in search of him; then he walks out of their motel
room. When Walt picks him up, he tries unsuccessfully to question Travis about
the lost years. When Travis does talk, he asks: "Is four years a long time?"
He asks about Walt's work making billboard signs for advertising and says: "I
like some of them, they are beautiful." And then says he wants to go to Paris.
Travis, it turns out, bought a piece of land in Texas a long time ago, by mail,
at the place where he believes he was conceived the place where his parents
first made love. "I figured it's where I began: Travis Clay Henderson." He carries
a picture of the vacant lot with him as if striving to reinvent himself from
Finally they board a plane for Los Angeles, but Travis refuses to fly, making
a fuss until they are allowed off. He then insists they find the exact hire
car in which they arrived at the airport.
Walt calls his wife, Anne (Aurore Clement) and Travis' seven-year-old son Hunter
(Hunter Carson) to say that he is with his father and will be bringing him back
to visit Hunter has been living with Anne and Walt as their child ever
since Travis and his wife Jane (Nastassja Kinski) left without any explanation,
leaving the boy in their care.
Back at Walt's Los Angeles house, Travis is reunited with Hunter and begins
the slow process of getting to know him again and earning his trust. Hunter
has early memories of his parents, helped by an old 8mm cine film of Anne, Walt,
Jane and Travis with Hunter. Determined to try and put things right, Travis
begins his search for Hunter's mother and so begins his acceptance of the passion,
jealousy, pain and obsession that ruined his life and cost him his family.
Beautifully shot by Director of Photography Robbie Müller, Sam Shepard's beguilingly-simple
story is strikingly brought to life by Wenders, whose wonderful and sometimes
austere imagery is accompanied by Ry Cooder's superb and acclaimed score.
The opening shot of a panoramic scene of Monument Valley with Travis stepping
through the desolate landscape, a majestic eagle watching him, is a memorable
image. It is an image that has been used since a similar shot appears
in Vertical Limit (2000).
There is remarkable attention to detail in the café of the gas station
where Travis collapses is a notice that says: "The dust has come to stay
you may stay or pass on through or whatever". And everyday shots are brought
out of the ordinary: an image of Walt in front of an ice machine in a dark town;
lovely shots of small towns at night with striking sunsets; the out of tune
television set in the motel; images of trains and Travis sitting on a rusting
yellow truck with the hood open.
Paris, Texas is a fantastic film, well shot (in colour) and superbly
directed, with terrific music, fine performances and a theme that explores in
depth the emotions and disappointments of a man and a woman who walk away from
their unhappy lives, causing repercussions for their loved ones this
is cinema at its creative best.
The film also features Claresie Mobley as the Car Rental Clerk; Viva Auder as
the Woman on Television; Socorro Valdez as Carmelita; Sally Norvell as 'Nurse
Bibs' and The Mydolls as a Rehearsing Band. Art Director is Kate Altman; Editor:
Peter Przygodda; Music: Ry Cooder; Executive Producer: Chris Sievernich; Assistant
Director: Claire Denis; Adaptation by L M Kit Carson; Written By Sam Shepard;
Produced by Don Guest; and Directed by Wim Wenders.
Looking with fresh eyes at America, Wim Wenders (Wings
Of Desire, Alice In The
Cities) creates in Paris, Texas a haunting tale of loss,
redemption and the ties that bind families together. The winner of the Palme
d'Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival and the Best Director prize at BAFTA in
1985, it is arguably Wenders' greatest achievement and Paris, Texas
is rightly regarded as one of the artistic triumphs of contemporary world
Axiom Films is delighted to announce the
release of Paris, Texas, now out on DVD (released on 28 July, 2008).
Certificate 12 | Running Time 139 Minutes | RRP £15.99.
The most comprehensive collectors' edition of the film ever released, it contains
the following Bonus Features: Feature-length commentary with Wim Wenders | Deleted
scenes | Home movies | Cannes Film Festival footage | The original theatrical
trailer | Exclusive 24-page limited edition collectors' booklet (includes Sam
Shepard short story and L.M. Kit Carson film diaries) | English subtitles for
the hearing impaired. The film was dedicated to Lotte H Eisner, the French-German
film critic, writer, historian and poet who was born in Berlin in 1896 and died
"Something special… an intimate, haunting, epic drama" The Times
"Towering in its vision, powerful in its dialogue and emotionally heart-rending…
a masterful command of cinema… see this film" The Sunday Times
"It brings magic back to the cinema… Stanton is magnificent… a modern classic"
"True, deep, and brilliant…" Roger Ebert
"A master-stroke… sublime" Time Out
"Wonderful and funny and full of real emotion" New York Times
"Beautiful… an iconic performance of understated genius" 4 Stars FilmFour
"Paris, Texas is a fantastic film, well shot and superbly directed, with
terrific music, fine performances and a theme that explores in depth the emotions
and disappointments of a man and a woman who walk away from their unhappy lives,
causing repercussions for their loved ones this is cinema at its creative