The following is from the first page of Sam Shepard’s script for Paris, Texas.


A fissured, empty, almost lunar landscape—seen from a bird’s-eye view. The camera hovers over it. In the distance, a lone man appears; he is crossing this desert.

A hawk lands on a boulder.
The man stops, looks at the bird.
Then he drinks the last drops of water from a large plastic bottle. He is wearing a cheap Mexican suit, a red baseball cap , and sandals with bandages wrapped around them. His clothes are covered with dust and soaked with sweat. He has been walking for a long time.

This is Travis.

Travis throws away the empty plastic bottle, and continues on his way across the bleak, hot plains that lie before him.