Thursday, 7 July 2011

PARIS TEXAS




Paris, Texas is a 1984 drama film directed by Wim Wenders. The screenplay is by L.M. Kit Carson and playwright Sam Shepard, and the distinctive musical score was composed by Ry Cooder. The cinematography is by Robby Müller.

The film stars character actor Harry Dean Stanton as Travis, who has been lost for four years and is taken in by his brother (played by Dean Stockwell). He later tries to put his life back together and understand what happened between him, his wife Jane (Nastassja Kinski), and his son Hunter (Hunter Carson).

The film was a co-production between companies in France and West Germany, but was filmed in the United States.
The film is named for the Texas town of Paris, but no footage was shot there; filming largely took place in Nordheim, Texas. Instead, Paris is referred to as the location of a vacant lot owned by Travis that is seen in a photograph. His obsession with the town appears based on the notion that his parents indicated to him that he was probably conceived there. The photograph shows a desert landscape, although the real Paris, Texas rests on the edge of the forests of East Texas, far from any desert.
Paris, Texas is notable for its images of the Texas landscape and climate. The first shot is a bird's eye-view of the desert, a bleak, dry, alien landscape. Shots follow of old advertisement billboards, placards, graffiti, rusty iron carcasses, old railway lines, neon signs, motels, seemingly never-ending roads, and Los Angeles, finally culminating in some famous scenes shot outside a drive-through bank in down-town Houston. The cinematography is typical of Robby Müller's work, a long-time collaborator of Wim Wenders.

The film is accompanied by a slide-guitar score by Ry Cooder, based on Blind Willie Johnson's "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground".
After its premiere at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, the film went on to sweep the top prizes from all three juries at Cannes: the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) from the official jury, the FIPRESCI Prize and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. It was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 1985 and again in 2006 as part of the Sundance Collection category.

The film also won the BAFTA Awards for Best Director and was nominated for Best Film and other categories.

Newsweek referred to the film as "a story of the United States, a grim portrait of a land where people like Travis and Jane cannot put down roots, a story of a sprawling, powerful, richly endowed land where people can get desperately lost.

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