Orlando. Paris, Texas

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film

film still from Wim Wender’s Paris, Texas

Two great movies in one sitting. I had to rent this movie after I saw this scene on TV when we used to have all those fancy cable channels. The quiet dialogue between Nastassja Kinski and Harry Dean Stanton’s characters is really powerfully emotional on a personal level. You don’t know anything about Travis and Jane’s history yet. You don’t know how they met or why they’re not together anymore. The film itself, is an hour and fort-five minutes of desolate cinematography and loneliness. But Stanton and Kinski are so immersed into their characters that when they finally recognize each other in that room, even though separated by a one-way mirror, that conversation is understood only between the two of them and the act of watching them  is like a voyeuristic interruption during their intimate moment.

Orlando directed by Sally Potter

I had not heard anything about this movie before, but I always saw it lingering on the shelves at Hollywood. The cover for the DVD is just horrible.  I always thought it was one of those sleazy romance movies, but after checking it out on my Netflix, I have to say, it is a very very good movie. The film is about an androgynous hero/heroine who lives for over 400 years, both as a male and a female. Yeah, it sounds really quirky and a lot to soak in, but Sally Potter does a terrific job and Tilda Swinton plays the title role, and her performance is nothing short of amazing.

This is a great climatic scene from the movie. (Watch and listen to the amazing soundtrack and you can really tell Sofia Coppola took a few tips from Sally Potter for her Marie Antoinette) The Lady Orlando discovers she no longer has rights to her estate because 1. assuming she has lived for over 200 years, she is deemed dead, and 2. she is now a woman and has no rights to claims to  her house unless she bears a male heir or marries. When she exclaims, “Nature, Nature, take me. I am your bride.” It reminds me of that pivotal scene at the end of Elizabeth in which Cate Blanchett declares her marriage to England.

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The Author

artist. homebody. cinephile. slow book collector.

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