Paris, Texas (1984)

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A man wordlessly stumbles out of the desert after disappearing without a trace four years previously and sets about reclaiming his lost family.

Harry Dean Stanton is one of those faces that everyone knows without knowing they know; an understated and remarkable character actor who has taken very few leading roles. His wonderfully understated performance is the centrepiece to Wim Wenders’ road movie dealing with love and loss that’s chock full of beautiful imagery. In fact it’s a little ironic that it took a German to capture so completely the “feel” of middle America but this piece of audio-visual poetry is one of the purest examples of mainstream cinema as an art form. No-one could fail to be captivated by his scenes with estranged wife Nastassja Kinski whose first appearance on screen has become an iconic image.

Its ponderous pace and lengthy running time will not appeal to those looking for action or melodrama, but Paris, Texas is more an experience than a piece of entertainment and if approached as such is rather unforgettable.

6.5/10

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