At the Crossroads between Paris, Texas and the Buena Vista Social Club, Havana: Wim Wenders and Ry Cooder as Collaborators

Stephen Gregory


I take the image of the crossroads first as a way of elucidating the approach Wim Wenders takes to making films and Ry Cooder to making music, and to the implicit politics that can be derived from their practice. I then look at Paris, Texas as a crossroads film to examine how the thematic and formal properties of the film can throw light on the nature of Cooder’s and Wenders’s collaboration on it. This is then used as a base from which to launch an attempt to demolish once and for all the widely held view that Buena Vista Social Club was an example of cultural imperialism.


Wim Wenders; Ry Cooder; Paris, Texas; Buena Vista Social Club; Film; Politics

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