Photographs in the Film "Paris, Texas" as a Specific Text

By Yi-Ting Wang and Wen-Shu Lai.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 21, 2017 $US5.00

This article aims to consider photographs in film as a specific type of text through a discussion and analysis of the three sets of photographs in the 1984 film "Paris, Texas," which is the output of both still photography and the film itself. First, this question is raised: “Where is the boundary between photography and film?” Second, we explore several indispensable aspects of the interpretation process from photography to film using different methods, namely time and space, the viewing frame, and interpretation of photographic images. Third, four specific types of photograph in film as text are identified, as follows: a moving image made by still photos, a still image in a moving image, several embedded still photos in a moving image, and a moving image made into distilled photography. Subsequently, the photographs in "Paris, Texas" are identified as the third type of photograph in film. The article concludes that the ambiguous nature of photographs in film is a specific type of text. Photographs demonstrate presence and absence in film in terms of the shifting meaning of text while the intertextual connection between the two forms simultaneously provides multiple possibilities for interpreting the photographs in the film. These photographs do not stand alone but rather co-exist with the film, the characters, and the audience based on a relationship of intertextuality.

Keywords: Film, Intertextuality, Photography, Wim Wenders

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.23-33. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 21, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 617.788KB)).

Yi-Ting Wang

Doctoral Student, Institute of Applied Arts, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

Wen-Shu Lai

Associate Professor, Institute of Applied Arts, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan