Friday, 28 March 2014

Spin-Off Blogathon

Sati over at Cinematic Corner is hosting her first Blogathon, and it's a really great one. Basically, the task is to choose a minor character from a film who you would have liked to see get their own spin-off and then explain why you think they would be deserving of their own feature and what it would be like.

I do feel like I've cheated a little bit as my choice is an incredibly important part of her film's plot and could be considered more of a supporting role. She does conform to the requirement of only having between 1-5 scenes in the film though, and was the first and only choice I felt I could use for this post.

When I finally got around to watching Paris, Texas it became an instant favourite. For anyone who doesn't know, the film follows Travis (Harry Dean Stanton) as he bonds with his young son after being absent for four years and decides to track down his ex and the mother of his child, Jane. Nastassja Kinski's Jane is used in a surprisingly limited capacity given her status as the poster-girl for the film and it's marketing. She is completely entrancing throughout each of her few scenes though and left me longing for so much more from her character after the film had ended.

There is a great deal of material that a film based on Jane's journey could utilise; her youthful romance with Travis, the violent disintegration of their relationship which resulted in her making the difficult decision to leave behind her husband and eventually her child, her time spent working at the striptease joint where she is required to entertain a slew of unseen men day in and day out, or even the events that followed her being reunited with her son thanks to Travis and how that relationship developed after such a long interval.

I'd love to see any of these aspects of her story and think that they'd all be as interesting and enjoyable as each other. The best way to get most of this in would probably be to use a flashback technique to allow the film to switch between her relationship with Travis and her time working at the striptease place. She mentions in Paris, Texas that every man she 'entertains' has Travis' voice to her and I think that would be a great concept to explore, showing how she interacts with the other men she talks to and how things they say trigger her memories of her past romance. As Travis reveals during the climax of the film, their relationship went into some really dark territory and became somewhat abusive, I'd want to see what lasting effects this has had on Jane and how she responds to her newfound of power over men in her job. I'm not sure if showing a glimpse of her future with her son Hunter would work with this structure as the ending of Paris, Texas is pretty perfect in its hopefulness and ambiguity but it's something that could also work as it's own stand-alone film.

I do think it would be really interesting to see her reunion with Travis exclusively from her persepective though. The scene where Travis recalls their story and reveals who he is to her from behind a screen that prevents her from seeing him is perfectly constructed in Paris, Texas but I'm curious as to how much more impact would be achieved from seeing it entirely from Jane's side of the screen, realising with her who the disembodied voice belongs to after four years of them being apart. The story of Paris, Texas is clearly building towards a reunion between Travis and Jane, but in a film from her side of the story this reunion could be completely unexpected and I think that would make Kinski's stunning performance even more powerful and affecting than it already is.

Jane instantly became one of my favourite film characters and I wish we could have seen more of her in the film, although I have to admit she is used a perfect amount for that particular story, which is why I think she deserves her own spin-off. That that would mean seeing more of the wonderful, gorgeous Kinski and her impeccable styling from the film would just be an added bonus.

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  1. definitely one of my favorite entries so far! This is such a beautiful movie and a great character, I'd love to see a film just about her. Wonderful post!

    1. Wow, thankyou! I'm glad you agree, she was such a character and performance from Kinski. I only wish this could actually happen so that we could get more time with her.