The Magic Lantern: Episode 100, Part One – Paris, Texas
Paris, Texas (Wenders, 1984) is our first ever crowdsourced episode choice, and we’re so grateful to you, our listeners, for sticking with us for 100 episodes, and for choosing something so wonderful to discuss and celebrate!
Wim Wenders originally envisioned this as more of a cross-country film, but Sam Shepard had a different idea. He encouraged Wenders to stick mainly to Texas for the setting, as he thought the whole of America could be found there and, by extension, in this film. And we happen to agree with him. It’s a road movie, it’s a movie about families, it’s a movie about fathers and sons, husbands and wives, and brothers. Whether you’ve traveled any of that terrain yourself—physical, emotional, or metaphorical—there’s always something new to be found in the performances, in Sam Shepard and L.M. Kit Carson’s script, in Wim Wenders’ direction and Robby Müller’s capturing of light and color.
Is there a character you identify most closely with? Travis, Walt, Jane, Anne, or Hunter? What might keep you from speaking? Where does this film fall on the spectrum of your favorite Wenders films?
This episode is also special in that it’s a two-parter. Episode 100, Part Two is our version of an Ask Me Anything. We took questions from our listeners, and had a wonderful time answering them. Thank you for this journey to 100 episodes, and we hope you’ll stick with us for the next 100!
What you’ll find in this episode: an exploration of Robby Müller’s reds and greens, Allison Anders’ story of catatonia, and a discussion of where we think everyone goes after the ending.
Links and Recommendations:
Check out Paris, Texas on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of Mud.
Cole’s further viewing pick of David Holzman’s Diary.
Blind Willie Johnson, an inspiration for the score.
Robin Holland’s photos on the film set.