Monday, August 11, 2014

Paris, Texas

He's uh ... he would introduce Mama as the girl he met in Paris. Then he'd waited uh ... before he said "Texas" till everybody thought that ... he meant ...  he would wait before he said "Texas" till everybody though t ...  after everyone thought he was talking about Paris, France. He always laughed real hard about it.
 So Friday night, my last night in Paris for the foreseeable future (though the future always has strange curves), I took Line 1 to Gare de Lyon (perhaps my favorite Gare) then wandered up to the Marche d'Aligre and through the Marais to Pompidou.  A Lebanese snack, then south, across the Ile de la Cite, past Notre Dame to Shakespeare & Co.  Ondaatje poems in the bargain bin out front, endless new novels of interest inside.  Then up to the Reflet Medici to see Paris, Texas (they've been moving the print around between the revival theaters down there..  and I was tempted to see The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance at the Champo instead, but..).

And oh, what a film.  It starts slow.  And the dialogue is subtle, but rich.  Sam Shepard at his best.  And the camerawork - the shots of the desert, then LA, then Houston.  And the story.  He leaves large holes and slowly fills them in around the edges, obliquely.  The scenes where Travis is showing Hunter photos from the family album.  The way each person in the room reacts to the super-8 from the past.  And then that ending.  The monologue.  And oh, the soundtrack - which is both simpler and richer than I'd imagined.  And yes, it's Dark Was the Night - but it's more than that.  And pulls everything together quite nicely. 

I walked back to Porte Maillot, late.  Misty.  Through Saint-Germaine, then the quai d'Orsay, to Alma.  Those final images rambling around my head as I listened to the river..

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