He also recalled “the greatest day ever” when he was sitting on the beach and Shepard, who had the day off, came over “just wanted to hang out.” The two sat together on the beach eating lunch, talking about music and films and books. “I was like, this is the coolest thing that I’ve ever done in my life.”
Jeff Nichols on Sam Shepard
The painful part, with Sam’s writing, was to understand how to do it. Because you don’t have to act his writing. Finally, Wim said, “Don’t act these lines. You just say them, like poetry, say it with a meter.”
He was just everything that one could want. He was – still is – a very handsome man. And he had this animal magnetism. It was almost visceral. He was so high energy and had a real glint in his eyes. He was born for rock’n’roll. I had no idea who he was when I met him. He was a drummer in a band, the Holy Modal Rounders, at the time and he just had something in him that made him a great, great performer. I just thought he was the future of rock’n’roll. I had no idea that actually he was this great writer too.
What makes Paris, Texas and all of Wim’s work so special is that it is filled with so much yearning and so much restlessness; people aching so badly to find what it is they’re looking for. They’re all so hungry for love and connection and something to make them feel alive. Some of them find it in others and then some of them realize even if they did—would it even make them feel better? Or are they destined to eternally feel that hole inside? Travis leaves Jane and Hunter in the end because he knows putting together the pieces of the past won’t put him back together. He’s ripped apart we’ll never know why. None of us do. Wenders’ also expressed that, “hotels room have a real magic because you feel yourself, who you are in a different way and in an anonymous hotel room than you would ever be able to at home.” His films all live in transient places like motels where everyone’s face changes from moment to moment—and in a way that’s more comforting than feeling sorrow in the comfort of stability.
Cinematic Panic: Longing Endlessly with Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas
Happy Birthday to the “rock n’ roll jesus with a cowboy mouth” himself, Sam Shepard.
Actually, I was going to make a far more complex film, because I’d originally intended to drive all over America. I had it in mind to go to Alaska and then the Midwest and across to California and then down to Texas. I’d planned a real zigzag route all over America. But my scriptwriter, Sam Shepard, persuaded me not to. He said: “Don’t bother with all that zigzagging. You can find the whole of America in the one state of Texas.” At the time, I didn’t know Texas all that well, but I trusted Sam. I traveled around Texas for a couple of months, and I had to agree with him. Everything I wanted to have in my film was there in Texas—America in miniature.
A lot of my films start off with road maps instead of scripts. Sometimes it feels like flying blind without instruments. You fly all night, and in the morning you arrive somewhere. That is: you have to try to make a landing somewhere so the film can end.
They say, these days, standing out on the rim of the Grand Canyon, the brightest lights in the night sky are not the stars in the heavens but the glow from casino neon in Las Vegas – one hundred and seventy five miles away.
(Source: un-gif-dans-ta-gueule, via crimson-and-clover)