After posting of my excitement at the thought of watching Paris,Texas tonight, I guess it’s necessary to share the actual experience.
Hosted by the Hyde Park Picture House (http://www.hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk) as part of the Leeds International Film Festival (http://www.leedsfilm.com), I arrived to find the cutest, most charming cinema I’d ever seen in my life. Built in 1914, the Hyde Park Picture House proudly regards itself as the coziest cinema in Leeds, and its totally adorable.
So I settle down with my friend, Steve, to watch the greatest, most heartfelt road movie ever made. Sadly, the first reel was in a poor state and I feared the beauty of Robbie Muller’s cinematography would be lost. Thankfully, my fears dissipated rapidly as deep within high-wire shoots above the Mojave Desert the stick man stomping through his emotional isolation came into view.
Travis’ journey from automaton mute to self-aware self-sacrifice is one filled with love. His brother, sister-in-love and son welcome Travis back into their lives without recrimination. Their joy at his return is gentle, understated, respectful and give Travis the love to regenerate his character. Harry Dean Stanton’s performance is deft, sweet and dripping with regret. The whole cast deliver performances of humane and perceptive nature.
Since 1985, when I last watched this film at a cinema, I have become a father and have lost a father. Watching the re-birth of a father/son relationship, without histrionics, without agenda and touching profoundly deep sentiments, left me on the verge of weeping.
This film offers up the essence of humanity in a elegiac and understated manner. It’s grace, beautiful and compassion are define a cinematic landmark.
PS I promise my next post will be about “Go With God”, but it is films like Paris, Texas that inspire me.