The scene of their reunion and the recapitulation of the details of their split is one of the most devastating in all of cinema. Travis sits on one side of a two-way mirror, his back turned to his wife, as Jane, unseeing and unaware, listens as the man on the other side recounts the story of a couple. Kinski evokes Maria Falconetti in the “The Passion of Joan of Arc” by way of Anna Karina in “Vivre Sa Vie” in this scene: the camera holds on her face relentlessly as Travis recounts the tale, his wife’s growing awareness evidenced by the precipitous tears growing in her profoundly expressive eyes. The tale that he tells is sickeningly violent, yet suffused with the sort of explosive intimacy that is a hallmark of many of Shepard’s great plays. So this is the paradox of America in Wenders’s eyes: beautifully, breathtakingly expansive, to be sure, but something of a house of cards filled with people living empty, mediated, alienated lives.