cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values


FILM WIM WENDERS Paris Texas [face transpostion]

With gap of it could be nearly 30 years, it was a delight to watch Paris,Texas again, even if I was sure it had aesthetically pleasing shots of rolling tumbleweed blowing across a road to nowhere – but not one. And – how we can forget – the closest to Paris, Texas we got was a small colour photograph of a for-sale board in a background of desert. Now what was that other film? Probably another Harry Dean Stanton in which people stand around in the Arizona desert in cinematographic perfection.

No shortage of films with tumbleweed in the title or theme:

FILM Tumbleweeds [1925]

FILM AUDIE MURPHY Tumbleweed [1953]

FILM Tumbleweeds[1999]

There’s even a Tumbleweed Film Festival

But back to Wim’s film. It struck me how gentle it was. You’re half expecting something really terrible to leak out eventually about some traumatic past – perhaps with all that Blue Velvet screamy, demented, shaky camera, blurry stuff – but no, even that is reserved for a two-way reminiscence across a two-way mirror of a love gone wrong with a bit of nasty relationship violence. Someone has already done a post about superimpositions so there is not other side-track at this point.

The final strangeness of the whole film – though my favourite is the silent shoe arranging shots – is the booth/ one-way mirror scene in which Natasha Kinsky listens for a long time without any sign on her face she recognises who is speaking to her. Tell me I’m wrong. In the end it didn’t seem to make any difference. It could be explained any number of ways, and none of them added to or subtracted from the film.

Review: Paris, Texas

Through This Lens: Wim Wenders’ ‘Paris, Texas’ by Jae K Renfrow

At one point I thought of simply intercutting my sparse, thin gruel with wodges of Jae’s instructive text – a bit like an editor making one film out of two separate sets of footage [o.k., files] without [as if it were possible] being aware of what he was cutting together, except wanting to make a good fist of what he had to hand, which would remind one of a rather unbalenced conversation between a kindly expert [here a cinephile] with a considerable command of language, contributing detailed, thorough, complete [tending to], substantial, probing, penetrating, in-depth [if not exhaustive] suggestions and ideas and a companion struggling to express too hasty, cursory, perfunctory, passing, nodding, casual, sketchy, facile, desolutory, even slapdash and inattentive remarks in return. It would be possible, but rather time-consuming. So let’s leave it as a thought experiment and let him say his piece.

February 23, 2015 Posted by | Texas, Wim Wenders | , | Leave a comment