Paris, Texas is a movie made in 1985. It starts out with a man walking towards the camera in the desert, as he reaches the camera he faints. He is then reunited with his brother, sister-in-law, and his young son. The man realizes he has made a big mistake in his life involving his child and the child’s mother and the rest of the film involves him correcting that mistake.
That is pretty much it. No big action. Yet Paris, Texas is the best film I have ever seen.
The star of the film is character actor Harry Dean Stanton. I love character actors anyway and he does a wonderful job with the lead role. The director is Wim Wenders. He was a friend of my all-time favorite Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The movie was written by my favorite playwright Sam Shepherd.
The ending has never left me. Yet like the whole movie it is so simple and yet so complex. The complex part deals with how rare it is for any human, man or woman, to love anybody more than they do themselves. This man is able to. It’s not a happily ever after ending, but it IS a real life ending.
I love the camera’s last shot. As Stanton is driving off the camera is in the back seat.The camera shows the rear view mirror and we see a slow smile appear across Stanton’s face. He should have won the Academy Award for that smile alone.