Paris, Texas

I went out to Staff Development Day and sat through opening remarks which were like a pep rally, and I had a box lunch with a salami sandwich, a bag of potato chips, a chocolate chip cookie, and I had fruit juice with it.  I went through my shift, and I stopped for a hamburger before returning home.  I watched the Criterion Collection Blu-ray disc of Wim Wenders’ “Paris, Texas.”  I thought it was very compelling until the scene where Harry Dean Stanton speaks to Nastassja Kinski, and the movie loses a lot of its magic after that point.  It still has Harry Dean Stanton’s greatest performance.  He is Travis, a man who has been hurt so deeply that he wanders around Texas on foot.  I don’t know if it’s possible for a person to disappear the way he did in 1984 in today’s world.  Actually, I noticed part of a billboard of Barbra Streisand’s “Yentl” in one scene.  Harry Dean Stanton had a great year in 1984 with this movie and “Repo Man.”  Dean Stockwell was also very good as Travis’ brother.  They go on a road trip that it reminiscent of “Rain Man.”  Stockwell was pretty remarkable next to Dennis Hopper in “Blue Velvet.”  Seeing Nastassja Kinski again reminded me that her stardom seemed brief, but she got to work with top directors in “Tess,” “One From the Heart,” and “Paris, Texas.”  Her face looked beautiful, and her demeanor showed the craziness of Klaus Kinski.  I found it hard to believe that someone like her could end up in this seedy place in Texas.  It was also hard to believe that she couldn’t recognize Travis’ voice for the longest time.  The long story goes on for a bit too long.  It’s also not terribly cinematic to have someone talking about past events.  I’m not sure that the young boy’s behavior was quite right.  I thought he would have recognized Travis from the Super 8 film, and he sure seems to change his attitude about Travis pretty quickly.  Does having a truck and having backwards make that much of a difference?  I’m not too sure that the action should have gone from Texas to California back to Texas again.  The movie deserts Walt and Anne and leaves us feeling rather empty.  This is a movie that has a lot of power, though, and that is rare among movies.  I felt that it was still as good today as it was 32 years ago.  I think it’s one of the great movies of the 1980s.  I was curious about some of the filming locations.  Walt’s house was at 10060 Olivia Terrace in Los Angeles, and Hunter’s school was Thomas Jefferson Elementary School at 1900 North 6th Street in Burbank.  We also see the Bob Hope Airport at 2627 Hollywood Way in Burbank.  I thought one of the interesting things that happened was the appearance of a red car identical to Jane’s while Walt and Hunter were following her, but I didn’t think that was likely to happen.  I fell asleep and awoke to see Sting at the end of the Jimmy Kimmel show, singing “Next to You.”  I thought that Sting sounded better than he had in several years.  James Corden had Luke Wilson on his show.  I started to feel that I wanted to get a good night’s sleep before I faced another weekday.  Some of the people who died on August 18 include Honoré de Balzac (1850), John Sturges (1992), Elmer Bernstein (2004), Scott McKenzie (2012), Don Pardo (2014), and Bud Yorkin (2015).  Today is a birthday for Denis Leary (59) and Robert Redford (80).

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