Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Still life with locusts

We watched Terrence Malick's amazing film BADLANDS again last week, and it is such a work of art, I need to share the trailer and insist you all see it. Like, right now.

I can still remember Molly Haskell noting that Sissy Spacek's childlike narration sounded just like TRUE ROMANCES or one of those adolescent magazines. It sure does, and how wonderful and perfect it is.

Roger Ebert includes BADLANDS in his list of GREAT MOVIES:

Kit is played by Martin Sheen, in one of the great modern film performances. He looks like James Dean, does not have bowlegs, and plays the killer as a plain and simple soul who has somehow been terribly damaged by life...

Holly is played by the freckle-faced redhead Sissy Spacek. She takes her schoolbooks along on the murder spree so as not to get behind. She is in love with Kit at first, but there is a stubborn logic in her makeup and she eventually realizes that Kit means trouble. "I made a resolution never again to take up with any hell-bent types," she confides.

Badlands - Trailer (1973)

After presenting the world with this work of art, Malick took several eons directing another amazing work of art, the fabulous DAYS OF HEAVEN. Which you will also go out and rent immediately, especially if you are a working-class or poor person.

Again, Roger Ebert includes this movie among his GREAT MOVIES. And like BADLANDS, there is also a young female's guileless narration, this one by Linda Manz:
Although passions erupt in a deadly love triangle, all the feelings are somehow held at arm's length. This observation is true enough, if you think only about the actions of the adults in the story. But watching this 1978 film again recently, I was struck more than ever with the conviction that this is the story of a teenage girl, told by her, and its subject is the way that hope and cheer have been beaten down in her heart. We do not feel the full passion of the adults because it is not her passion: It is seen at a distance, as a phenomenon, like the weather, or the plague of grasshoppers that signals the beginning of the end.
Unfortunately, this trailer doesn't include any of Manz's wonderfully plaintive narration, as the BADLANDS trailer included Spacek's. You do see, however, that the whole movie looks like an Andrew Wyeth painting come to life. And Richard Gere was... ohhhh my goodness (((fans self)))).

Quite simply, one of the greatest movies ever made.

Days of Heaven - Trailer (1978)

If you are in a suitably biblical/apocalyptic mood, check out the locust invasion. Linda Manz is cutting the vegetables in the first scene.

Incredible, peerless film-making, boys and girls. Took him years, but I'm so glad it did.



none of the kids are 1/2 the actor their old man was or is..martin sheen was so good..wish he did more..I loved him in west wing.
and he was excellent in the band lands.

DaisyDeadhead said...

I totally agree! What is also pretty striking in that trailer is how much his kids LOOK EXACTLY LIKE HIM...

JoJo said...

I've not heard of these movies! In fact I thought "Carrie" was Sissy Spacek's first film. She was brill in "Coalminer's Daughter!!"

mikeb302000 said...

Daisy, Thanks for those tips. I've missed so many great movies. I'll get these two as soon as possible.

mikeb302000 said...

I watched bot of them over the weekend. You're sure right about Terrence Malick. said...

I consider one and all should look at it.