...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

December 05, 2005

Badlands - 6

A 1973 film written and directed by Terrence Malick (other credits include: The Thin Red Line, and the upcoming The New World). In my opinion it is the much better predecessor to the film Monster (the only film I ranked a 1), without the lesbian angle. The film tells the story, partly based on true events, of a killer and his girlfriend, Holly (who narrates), and their journey running from the law. As they go, Kit leave a trail of bodies. The story is really about the alienation that the characters feel and the destruction it cause in a society without care. The story moves slowly precisely to show that it is not an action film but a work in character development. An interesting story that is told well. The title is in reference to their journey ending in the Montana Badlands.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seems about right for a rating. Malick's first film seems to have the least to say of his three finished films so far, but the key signifiers of his films (distanced interior monologue, shots of nature interwoven with action, gorgeous cinematography) are all present in this film.

I like the way alienation is shown here, but I wonder if the same film would be made if he were to reshoot it now. Methinks he wouldn't emphasize the cultural celebration (almost) for these killers so much, though the link between this film and Scott and Tarantino's True Romance is less than hidden.

The Thin Red Line is probably his best, but it's also the most introspective. Once you finish Days of Heaven I highly recommend checking out Ebert's "Great Movies" review of DoH. It clarifies a lot of emotional details I was unsure about.

Paul, eagerly awaiting "The New World"