Paris, Texas (1984)


Influenced by the American western as much as anything, German filmmaker Wim Wenders sets out to remake the mythic vision of John Fordís The Searchers (1956) as a different kind of family story, reflecting the reality the director found when he set out to see what has become of the American West for himself. Harry Dean Stantonís performance as the wandering Travis fleshes out an American archetype, and thereís a certain poetry to the way his face fills up one of these frames. Oddly, heís cast opposite the very European Nastassja Kinski, playing Jane, the wife whose companionship he forfeited years ago. Reunited with his son, Hunter, Travis sets out on his own Ethan-Edwardian quest, chasing after a certain purity of life (as best remembered in a series of Super-8 movies flickering on a foldaway home movie screen) that he can never recover.
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Reviews by Bryant Frazer