Breathtaking: Paris, Texas

A story of loss and redemption, nostalgia and reality, Wim Wenders’ Palme d’Or winner Paris, Texas (1984) has been rightly praised for almost forty years now. If I didn’t have a broken wrist I’d write a 1,000 words on this hauntingly unforgettable film. But I do, so I won’t—but I will when I’m healed. For now, I’ll share some of the film’s gorgeous visuals, which tell the story as much as the dialogue does. Wenders and cinematographer Robby Müller capture the grand expanse of the Texas deserts; the fluorescent lights and concrete structures of Los Angeles and Houston; and the drab interiors of hotel rooms, vehicles, and peep shows. Quite simply, it’s one of the most breathtakingly beautiful films ever made.

Some of these shots feature the small but brilliant cast, including Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, and Dean Stockwell. Stanton mesmerizes with mournful eyes and pained regret. Kinski in particular offers her own startling visual language in this film: transcendent blonde beauty radiating vulnerability and sadness.

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