Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cine Stills: Paris, Texas

As a new feature on this blog, I am going to start posting still frames from cinematographically significant films. The influence that film has had on photography is unquestionably apparent. It is in many ways hard to separate the two; each has historically informed the other through a closely linked visual past. Some of the most interesting contemporary photography has continued to blur these lines even further. Photographers like Philip Lorca-DiCorcia, Jeff Wall, Lisa Kereszi and Alessandra Sanguinetti are just a few of the more obvious people finding inspiration in cinema.

When I was considering which film to start with, I kept coming back to Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas. The imagery in this film is absolutely breathtaking. It presents a unique vision of the American landscape, one in which beauty is found in the vast, and often, desolate vernacular of the west. The film's power is also heightened by the distinctive use of color and lighting. Robby Müller's camerawork relies on these qualities, and as a result, the film is just as much an exploration of the psychology of color and light as it is a meditation on pain and loss.

Still from Paris, Texas, 1984 (dir. Wim Wenders, cine. Robby Müller)