MovieChat Forums > Paris, Texas (1984) Discussion > The French and Germans in Texas

The French and Germans in Texas


It is startling to see how French and German actors, actresses, and filmmakers could ever produce a more American, "Modern Western", film.

Foreign accents appear where necessary, and disappear where necessary.

Cinematography by Robby Muller is outstanding, and direction by Wim Wenders is, as usual, superb.

People around the world still do not realize the major contribution to the formation and spirit of the "Texas reputation" resulting from German immigration to the state (and territory) in the 19th and 20th centuries. Inclusion of the almost-cameo scenes of the seedy, barfly, crude, but real doctor (a role actually played by a different German film director) as Travis' first rescuer does not appear to be odd in the story at all.

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I really liked the fact that it was directed by a German and how he viewed America from a European perspective. It's way better than most films of the same genre directed by Americans.

The dust has come to stay. You may stay or pass on through or whatever.

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Guess you missed 70's film making

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While not as "internationally-stacked" as this film, Tender Mercies (1983) somewhat deals with similar subject matter, and was directed by the Australian Bruce Beresford, who would also direct Driving Miss Daisy (1989) which would go on and win Best Picture. One takes place in a dusty Texas country, while another is set in the South during the 1940s-1960s.

I forgot who said this, but a critic mentioned directors from the outside often do a remarkably good job of portraying America, even though they aren't from there. One reason is they often see it as an immense honor to be able to do a serious drama about a country they are not from, so they take it very seriously, and research and consult with as many people as they can just to get it right.

Also, sometimes being an outsider does give you a fresh perspective on things. Wim Wenders and Bruce Beresford were able to scrutinize American life with a very clinical, objective eye. What may seem common to us seems extra fascinating to them.

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And none of them could act. The French wife of Dean Stockwell was so wooden if you took a mop and turned it upside down the mop would have read lines in a more convincing way.

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