Archives for posts with tag: Wim Wenders


Excerpt from MOTEL CHRONICLES by Sam Shepard

       He stands still by the smashed suitcase peering down into all his one-time belongings. Crushed soap bars saved from motel showers. Flattened cans of string beans. A mangled map of Utah. Hot tar and blacktop ground into the pure white towel he was saving for his first long bath in a month.
       Nothing moves from one end of the highway to the other. Not even a twig flutters. Not even the Meadowlark feather stuck to a nail in the fence post.
       He pushes the toe of his boot across the burned black rubber skid mark. Follows the crazy swerve of tires with his eyes. Sour smell of rubber. Sweet smell of sand sweltering.
       Now a lizard moves. Makes a fragile fish-like wake with its tail. Disappears. Swallowed in a sea of sand.
       Should he try to salvage something? Some small token of the whole collection. A pair of socks? The batteries from his flashlight? He should try to bring her something back. Some little something. Some memento so at least she’d think he’d been doing more than nothing. Just drifting all these months.
       He pokes around in the debris with a mesquite stick looking for a present. Nothing seems worth saving. Not even the undamaged things. Not even the clothes he’s wearing. The Turquoise ring. The wing-tip boots. The Bareback buckle.
       He drops them all on the pile of rubble. Squats naked in the baking sand. Sets the whole thing up in flame. Then stands. Turns his back on U.S. Highway 608. Walks straight out into opened land.

FROM THE AMAZON BLURB: Motel Chronicles reveals the fast-moving and sometimes surprising world of the man behind the plays that have made Sam Shepard a living legend in the theater. Shepard chronicles his own life birth in Illinois, childhood memories of Guam, Pasadena and rural Southern California, adventures as ranch hand, waiter, rock musician, dramatist, and film actor. Scenes from this book form the basis of his play Superstitions, and of the film (directed by Wim Wenders) Paris, Texas, winner of the Golden Palm Award at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.

Note: Motel Chronicles was originally published in 1982 by City Lights (San Francisco).


Wearing a purple scarf  sporting a snowflake motif  — a item of clothing that must have some Bukowski-related sentimental value; if not, cool fashion choice for a summer night in L.A. — Harry Dean Stanton oozed charisma at the Charles Bukowski tribute on June 30th as he shared tales of his encounters with Buk and read from the great writer’s oeuvre.

Harry wrapped up his performance with a song (“Cancion Mixteca”) in Spanish, featured in the iconic film Paris, Texas (1984). In the Wim Wenders masterwork — written by Sam Shepherd — Harry Dean Stanton (as Travis) delivers a compelling monologue about his conception in Paris, Texas. Fellow performer Joan Jobe Smith was eager to meet the actor — because she was born in Paris, Texas. Hear Harry sing the hauntingly beautiful “Cancion Mixteca” at this link.

(Photo by Silver Birch, Los Angeles, June 30, 2012)