German filmmaker Wim Wenders uses a distinct phenomenological approach in depicting place, memory, and loss (Silberman, 1995). His 1984 film, Paris, Texas is quintessential of this.
While location scouting for the film Wenders used photography for the first time as an art medium in its own right. The photographs, which feature in his exhibition ‘Written in the West’, explore similar themes to those in the film; of myth and memory, trace and identity.
“Photography lets you capture the essence of a place the first time you see it…. Before you see the picture, you feel it coming to you, you hear its call. Landscapes sometimes are dying to tell their stories, to pass them on….” – Wim Wenders
Though I haven’t seen Paris, Texas for years it is one my favourites. It’s a beautiful film and well worth watching, at the very least for its photography.
The picture below marks the start of my next photographic project, and although it differs in context and intent to Wenders’ work, I recognise the influence and pay my humble appreciation to one of the greats.
See stills from Paris, Texas at Beautiful Stills from Beautiful Films: http://film-grab.com/2010/06/19/paris-texas/