The art of cinema no.8
Our second guest post by director, writer and photographer Ben Briand.
Last year Ben reviewed Wild at Heart for us and now, in between working on his new short film,
he reviews one of my personal favourites.
Paris Texas by Ben Briand
Ok I am going to be totally honest here; Paris, Texas is one of my favourite films. And I’ve never watched it in its entirety.
Strange I know.
I have also never finished reading one of my favourite books of all time, Milan Kundera’s Slowness. I think it is so I can be in a constant, perpetual state of reading it.
I have a strange relationship with work that I find absolutely astonishing. Often I stay away from it. As though it is too rich to experience in one sitting. I need to chip off a small block and savour the experience. If I watch Paris, Texas from beginning to end then it will do exactly that, it will end. And I don’t want it to end. So I stop it part way through so that I am in a never-ending position of being in the middle of Wim Wender’s beautiful world.
Paris, Texas has certainly been praised for its aesthetic qualities. Cinematographer Robby Müller shot Nastassja Kinski’s red sweater in a way that has been embraced by the fashion world more times than one can remember. But the true reason that this film continues to resonate after twenty five years across all artistic fields is that the story’s beauty is timeless. It is not just classic but romantic beauty and that’s a killer combination. The aesthetics are informed from a place of the character’s true beauty, not just for the sake of it.
Paris, Texas is Wender’s German take on the eroding modernity of Middle America. It won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and is filled with stark landscapes, lonesome motels, neon drenched diners and lost love. I highly recommend your viewing of it, even if you don’t make it to the end.