Going blank again - Page 3


Wim Wenders's melancholic ode to family – and th e barren, beaut iful American southwest – Paris, Texas (Fox Home Entertainment, $9.98), finally makes the leap to DVD, 20 years after its release. As Paris, Texas begins, a man (Harry Dean Stanton) dressed in a suit and a baseball cap trudges through the desert; after he's found collapsed in an isolated watering hole, his brother, Walt (Dean Stockwell), is summoned from Los Angeles. It turns out that Walt hasn't heard from his kin, who we learn is named Travis, in four years and that Walt and his wife, Anne (Aurore Clément), have been parenting Travis's young son, Hunter (Hunter Carson, offspring of Karen Black and writer L.M. Kit Carson, who assisted with the Paris, Texas screenplay). The whereabouts of Hunter's mother and Travis's estranged wife, Jane (a luminously blond Nastassja Kinski), are unknown, other than the fact that she's somewhere in Texas. Road trips dominate the movie, which was scripted by Sam Shepard, hauntingly scored by Ry Cooder, and lensed, all gorgeous skies and tricky scenes in cars, by Robby Müeller. Besides the film itself, the affectionate commentary by Wenders is the disc's highlight. Unlike so many DVD commentaries, which feel either self-congratulatory or utterly pointless, Wenders's track covers everything: casting and location choices, technical quirks (how do you shoot on a set built around a one-wa y mirror?), and  Kinski's signature pink sweater, purchased at a garage sale hours before she wore it in a crucial scene. Less-essential extras include deleted scenes with optional commentary and a baffling bit of footage dubbed "Kinski in Cannes," presumably filmed during Paris, Texas's Palme d' Or-winning stint at the fest. The cast shuffles down the red carpet amid flashbulbs and cries of "Nastassja! Nastassja!" It's worth a peek just to see Stockwell's Colonel Sanders-inspired choice in ormal wear. (Eddy)