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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Wim Wenders
UK / France / West Germany 1984

New German Cinema pioneer Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire) brings his keen eye for landscape to the American Southwest in Paris, Texas, a profoundly moving character study written by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Sam Shepard. Paris, Texas follows the mysterious, nearly mute drifter Travis (a magnificent Harry Dean Stanton, whose face is a landscape all its own) as he tries to reconnect with his young son, living with his brother (Dean Stockwell) in Los Angeles, and his missing wife (Nastassja Kinski). From this simple setup, Wenders and Shepard produce a powerful statement on codes of masculinity and the myth of the American family, as well as an exquisite visual exploration of a vast, crumbling world of canyons and neon.

***

A man walks alone in the desert. He has no memory, no past, no future. He finds an isolated settlement where the doctor, another exile, a German, makes some calls. Eventually the man's brother comes to take him back home again. Before we think about this as the beginning of a story, let's think about it very specifically as the first twenty minutes of a movie. When I was watching "Paris, Texas" for the first time, my immediate reaction to the film's opening scenes was one of intrigue: I had no good guesses about where this movie was headed, and that, in itself, was exciting, because in this most pragmatic of times, even the best movies seem to be intended as predictable consumer products. If you see a lot of movies, you can sit there watching the screen and guessing what will happen next, and be right most of the time.

That's not the case with "Paris, Texas." This is a defiantly individual film, about loss and loneliness and eccentricity. We haven't met the characters before in a dozen other films. To some people, that can be disconcerting; I've actually read reviews of "Paris, Texas" complaining because the man in the desert is German, and that another character is French. Is it written that the people in movies have to be Middle Americans, like refugees from a sitcom?

Excerpt from Rofger Ebert's review on the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 14th, 1994 (Toronto Film Festival)

Reviews                                                          More Reviews                                                      DVD Reviews 

Recommended Wim Wenders Books (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Comparison:

Fox Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region A - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Per-Olaf Strandberg and Warren Murphy for the DVD Screen Caps!

 

1) Fox Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region A - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

Distribution

Fox Home Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region 0 - PAL
Criterion - Spine # 501
Region A -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:24:45 2:18:48 (4% PAL speedup) 2:24:49.722
Video

1.75 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.6 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.75:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.91 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,954,377,144 bytes

Feature: 29,329,969,152 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Fox Home Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby), DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby), Commentary in English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby)

English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Commentary in English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3750 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3750 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, Spanish, none None English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Fox Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.75

Edition Details:
• Commentary from director Wim Wenders
• Trailer - 16X9 - 2:12
• Deleted Scenes (with optional Wenders commentary) - anamorphic, original un-restored footage - 23:35
• Kinksi in Cannes footage - 4:3 - 4:41
• Still Gallery (53 titled images in click through slideshow)

DVD Release Date: December 14th, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 28
 

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.75:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary from Wim Wenders
• Trailer - 16x9 - 2:03
• Deleted Scenes (with commentary) - 16x9 - 23:43
• Outtakes - 4x3 - 6:38
• Film Festival in Cannes - 4x3 - 3:43
• Stills Gallery (32 images in click through slideshow)
• Cast and Director Biographies

 

DVD Release Date: Sept 2nd, 2002
Transparent Keep case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,954,377,144 bytes

Feature: 29,329,969,152 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary featuring Wenders

Video extras below in HD:
• Video interview with Wenders by German journalist Roger Willemsen from 2001 (28:58)
• Excerpts from a 1990 documentary on Wenders, featuring interviews with Wenders, cinematographer Robby Müller, composer Ry Cooder, actors Harry Dean Stanton, Dennis Hopper, Peter Falk, and Hanns Zischler, novelist Patricia Highsmith, and director Samuel Fuller (42:42)
• New video interviews with filmmakers Allison Anders and Claire Denis (20:28)
• “Wim Wenders Hollywood April ’84,” a segment from the French television program Cinéma cinémas, showing Wenders and Cooder at work on the score (12:20)
• Deleted scenes and Super 8 home movies (23:28)
• Gallery of Wenders’s location-scouting photos entitled Written in the West
• Behind-the-scenes photos by Robin Holland (16 images)
• Theatrical trailer (2:13)
• 46-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film critic Nick Roddick, interviews with Stanton, writer Sam Shepard, and actors Nastassja Kinski and Dean Stockwell, and excerpts from Wenders’s book of photos Written in the West

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Blu-ray Release Date: January 26th, 2010
Transparent Thick Blu-ray case

Chapters 15

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

Addition: Criterion Region A Blu-ray - January 10': The new Criterion Blu-ray transfer is advertised as 'supervised and approved by director Wim Wenders' - so, I don't see much point in picking flaws with it. At times the color scheme on Blu-ray beside the previous DVDs looks very different - being more realistic, a softer palette, better balanced, and, essentially, closer to the Fox release than the Anchor Bay SD edition. In comparison the DVDs look falsely brightened next to the 1080P dual-layered Blu-ray rendering - which is also tighter and more detailed. The screen captures below should identify most of what you need to know about the visual superiority of the hi-def edition.

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3750 kbps is quite robust when called upon sounding very clear and sharp with subtle separations and definitely crisper than the DVDs. Ry Cooder's score is wonderfully reproduced. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked disc.

The same excellent audio commentary on the Blu-ray (and simultaneously released Criterion DVD available HERE -  presently for almost $10 more!) featuring Wim Wenders is the same one as found on both the Fox and Anchor Bay editions. This is also true of the 23-minutes worth of Deleted Scenes (with optional Wenders commentary) and Super 8 footage set to music. New though is a 1/2 hour interview with Wenders by German journalist Roger Willemsen from 2001 and 42-minutes of excerpts from a 1990 documentary on Wenders, featuring interviews with Wenders, cinematographer Robby Müller, composer Ry Cooder, actors Harry Dean Stanton, Dennis Hopper, Peter Falk, and Hanns Zischler, novelist Patricia Highsmith, and director Samuel Fuller. Kent Jones talks with with filmmakers Allison Anders and Claire Denis for about 20-minutes. They served as assistant director and production assistant on the film Paris, Texas and have good insight into the filmmaking process. “Wim Wenders Hollywood April ’84,” is a 12-minute segment from the French television program Cinéma cinémas, showing Wenders and Cooder at work on the score. This Blu-ray alos has some Galleries of Wenders’s location-scouting photos entitled Written in the West and 16 behind-the-scenes photos by Robin Holland. Lastly we get a theatrical trailer and 46-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film critic Nick Roddick, interviews with Stanton, writer Sam Shepard, and actors Nastassja Kinski and Dean Stockwell, and excerpts from Wenders’s book of photos from the aforementioned Written in the West.

You can forget what a poignant film this is until you see it again and it's a true pleasure to own it in such an excellent audio and video transfer with the extensive extras. Very strongly recommended!

***

ON THE DVDs: The NTSC version is brighter and sharper, where the PAL edition looks slightly saturated. I now see some very slight edge enhancement on the NTSC. Extras are a duplicate, as is the Wenders commentary. Audio - the NTSC have replaced the 5.1 mix (non-original) with a Spanish DUB. I suppose many might want that 5.1 although the films content would never test it. I prefer the menus of the NTSC.

- Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus

(Fox Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

 

 

Criterion - Region A - Blu-ray

 


 

Screen Captures - Subtitle Sample

 

Criterion - Region A - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Fox Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region A - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Fox Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region A - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Fox Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region A - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Fox Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region A - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Fox Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region A - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 


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Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray
Menu: Blu-ray

 
Box Covers

 

Distribution

Fox Home Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region 0 - PAL
Criterion - Spine # 501
Region A -
Blu-ray

 




 

 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...