Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Paris, Texas


Harry Dean Stanton, man! I don’t think I’ve ever seen him be bad in a movie, though he’s been in some bad movies, like everybody. But this is the best I’ve ever seen him. He’s playing against type, because usually there is at least a hint of menace in his craggy face (though he played an angel in One Magic Christmas, which just goes to show you that casting against type often yields the best performances, casting directors please take note). He wanders into the picture from the desert, a lost soul in a suit and tie and baseball cap. He’s just this side of catatonic. But he has a brother who comes to get him after a 4-year absence. He gradually returns to the human race, and it is a long, slow trip, done amazingly well. He has a son, and a wife, and of course we’re dying to find out more about them and whatever cataclysmic event tore them apart. Wim Wenders makes you wait, and it’s worth it. Fraulein Nastassja Kinski (who I learn is fluent in English, German, French, Italian and Russian) turns in a great performance as a small-town Texas girl; could have fooled me, and I grew up in Texas. Nine-year-old Hunter Carson is very good as the son. And some scenes were filmed in a peep show that never could have existed (not out in the open, anyway) in Port Arthur, Texas, back when I was going to high school 5 miles from there. What more could I ask for?