Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Before we left, he shot a football that he considered excess baggage."

I watched "BADLANDS" on DVD this afternoon, chuckling to myself at the genius and audacity of writer/director TERRENCE MALICK.
I had not seen Malick's 1973 feature-length debut in a long time -- long enough that seeing it today was like a reawakening.
The photography is beautiful -- give some credit to cinematographer TAK FUJIMOTO ("The Silence of the Lambs," "The Sixth Sense," "Something Wild" and others) -- and the writing is superb.
Holly (Sissy Spacek): "We had our bad moments, like any couple. Kit accused me of only being along for the ride, while at times, I wish he'd fall in the river and drown, so I could watch."
Martin Sheen is memorable as Kit. He actually makes the viewer care what happens to an amoral, probably psychotic killer.
Malick is the real star, though, and not because of the brief cameo.
To think that this masterpiece is a feature-length debut is simply astounding.
Here is how David Kamp described Malick in the "FILM SNOB DICTIONARY:"
"Salingeresquely private Texas writer-director who, shrewdly or unwittingly, has cultivated American filmdom's greatest mystique by shunning publicity and very infrequently making films."
I am just thankful one of his infrequently made films was "Badlands."

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