Review of Paris, Texas

Paris, Texas (1984)
Just absolute love
18 November 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The film begins with an overhead shot, an eagle's gaze that dematerializes; as if it were the continuation of Centaurs of the desert. However, we already know who to look at; Travis (Harry Dean Santon) travels through the desert, with a disoriented look; without motivation. All he knows is that he wants to go to Texas, to a place called Paris.

Paris, Texas tells how that gaze, empty at first, makes sense. Travis chose to forget about his own life and walk the world. When his brother finds him, he is forced to resume his relationship with his son; what will make him a new person willing to regain his old life. It is the tender story of how the purpose of living returns to the body from which it had fled.

However, Travis was happy. His brother Walt (Dean Stockwell) still has a Super 8 recording of an old vintage vacation. The projected images are a deluge of emotions for Travis and the viewer. In that same scene, and four years later, his son calls him "dad" again.

Paris, Texas is the story of how a gaze has a body again; but for me it goes much further. Wenders condenses emotion and makes it blossom little by little, coming up against the essence of cinema: absolute love. Travis is only looking for eyes that look at him, a back shot. And that cannot be expressed with narration alone. Wenders even goes beyond the borders of emotion: mother and son meet again while Travis watches them from the parking lot, just before getting in and driving towards Paris, Texas. But now he is another man, his look is different and he has tears in his eyes. It is a movie from another world, a film masterclass, and the best I've seen in many, many years.
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