Paris, Texas

September 21st, 2006 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

After appearing in Wim Wenders’ Million Dollar Hotel, Mel Gibson called it ‘boring as a dog’s arse’, capturing the unadmitted response of millions to the work of autuers like Wenders, Lynch, Truffaut and Eisenstein.

One of the arthouse classics of the 1980s, it begins with Travis (Harry Dean Stanton) emerging from the dust of the Texas panhandle, stumbling into a truck stop and passing out.

The doctor who finds him calls his brother in LA and we discover Travis has been missing, wandering the desert for four years. Brother Walt (Dean Stockwell) takes him home to California to reunite him with the son he left and try and ease him back into life in society, but occasional allusions to a happy life with his AWOL wife Jane (Natassja Kinski) hint at the dark period of Travis’ wandering.

He tries to reconnect with his family but something still haunts him, so he takes the boy and drives back to Texas to find the ghosts of his soul.

All languid, iconic shots and a slowly unravelling mystery that never quite unravels, you may sit down to watch Paris, Texas aware that you’re watching one of the most revered movies of modern times and be profoundly disappointed. It’s too full of the sort of tiny detail that can only come out when you have a long relationship with a film, watching it over and over.

If you’re the sort of film fan who just wants a hit of entertainment, it’s as boring as Mel Gibson’s dog’s arse.

Wenders’ commentary of both the film and deleted scenes ends up more interesting than the film as he explains some of the practicalities of achieving certain shots, and there’s a fairly useless ten-minute clip of the posse arriving at the 1984 Cannes film festival and some trailers.


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