Written in the West, Revisited: Wim Wenders has added 15 unseen Paris, Texas images

The German film-maker spent two months driving across the American West in 1983 scouting locations for his 1984 film

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Scouting locations for his 1984 film Paris, Texas, Wim Wenders had spent two months the previous year driving across the American West armed with a Makina Plaubel 67 camera.

Travelling through Texas, Arizona, California and New Mexico, the German film-maker captured the perennial blue skies, retro signs and kitsch interiors that fans of the film will recognise.

The photographs from the trip formed the basis of "Written in the West", a project exhibited in 1986 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris before being made into a book and published in 2000.

Now Wenders has added 15 previously unseen images of the film's titular town and is re-releasing the book as Written in the West, Revisited.


"I was hoping that taking the photographs would sharpen my understanding of the light and landscape, my sense of empathy with it," says Wenders in an interview accompanying the book. "So although these photos were taken in connection with the film, they are quite independent of it."

Wenders took the trip alone, feeling it was important he be unaccompanied as he mythologised the American West's motels, cowboys and arid land. "Solitude and taking photographs are connected in an important way. If you aren't alone, you can never acquire this way of seeing, this complete immersion in what you see, no longer needing to interpret, just looking… That trip looking for material was sheer pleasure. I'd get up in the morning and drive off into the blue and just keep driving all day."

Wim Wenders' 'Written in the West, Revisited' is published by Schirmer/Mosel, priced £28