Archives / 2006 Sundance Film Festival

Paris, Texas

Director: Wim Wenders

Screenwriters: Kit Carson, Sam Shephard

Institute History

Description

The opening shots of Wim Wenders's Paris, Texas embed us in a vast and desolate western landscape. A tiny figure appears, lost and alone. This is Travis (Harry Dean Stanton), a man who has been missing for four years. And the wilderness he travels is an externalization of his inner life: an isolated desert without nourishment or even language.

Like many Wenders films, Paris, Texas is a road movie, but the journey here is an interior one, a search for connection—to family, to home, and ultimately to a sense of self. Travis's brother, Walt (Dean Stockwell), and sister-in-law, Anne (Aurore Clément), help him reconnect with his son, Hunter (Hunter Carson), and the two eventually set out to find Hunter's mother, Jane (Nastassja Kinski).

Sam Shepard's spare yet poetic screenplay is packed with emotional insights, and it's pure pleasure to watch Travis and Hunter's relationship develop: Which is the parent and which the child? Robby Müller's incandescent images and Ry Cooder's haunting blues score complement the perceptive performances by an extremely well-matched cast.

Paris, Texas screened at the 1985 Sundance Film Festival after winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes the previous year. Ironically, considering its significance, no good print existed in the United States. This brand-new print, struck directly from the negative and featuring a remastered soundtrack, was made possible by Intel. Thanks to Twentieth Century Fox for permission to screen the film.

— Barbara Bannon

Screening Details

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