Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Review + Badlands

So the summer has been pretty good with this. I'm glad that I've kept up at it. I'm going to be taking some writing classes this fall which will hopefully jump-start my Grad School applications, but who knows. I might not blab about films as often, but I hope to.

I changed the name of the blog because, despite it's relative lack of importance, I kind of want this to be more serious than what it started as. That doesn't mean I will only review art-films or classics, but it may limit what I choose to put in here. In the end, writing about these films is something that brings me great joy, and I hope I can keep refining my tastes.

I have nothing else to watch today, so I'm going to write about a film that I re-watched this morning. I'd say this blog is usually about first impressions, but I might make posts like this or film in general from time to time.

Film Still

Badlands (Terrence Malick, 1973) [REWATCH]

Still the most easy-going of all of Malick's films, but probably the least emotionally rewarding. Calling it simply escapist entertainment is a bit too harsh, but I can say that it felt that way by the end, though I love the final shot moving through the clouds. Malick has always had an approach to characters that isn’t necessarily complex, but instead, something more fleeting and poetic. In this case, this flashier fleshing out of characters is not fully developed. At times, the film crosses the line to a plot-driven sensibility if only for the overwhelmingly simple set-up. This is all meant in relation to the man’s other films which are more abstract, more profound, and more ambitious. Don’t get me wrong, I love Badlands, always have and always will, and it's simplicity is what makes it's message profound in the end. Odd to think that Malick is seen as a humor-less pretentious maniac nowadays. I found myself laughing more often than I did on the previous viewing.

^ Watch for the reappearance of the catfish screen-left of Sheen during the shot of him lying in bed with black feathers fanned out behind him starting @ 3:45. This shot alone cements Badlands as one of the greatest American films of all time.

If I had to make a film right now, I would steal everything from Malick and be happy about it. Sometimes I can't believe he's only made 4 films.

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