Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sight & Sound Challenge: Badlands (1973)

Film: Badlands (46/250) 
Critics Poll: 202nd 
Directors Poll: 67th 
First Time/Rewatch: Rewatch

I saw this one for the first time last March, and it really spoke to me. Something about the dreamy photography, the compellingly naive narration by Sissy Spacek as Holly, and Martin Sheen as the cocky, violent, and charismatic Kit. It's romantic, it's dreamy, it's abrupt, it's memorable, and it's interesting. It's kind of like a teenage Bonnie and Clyde...these kids are starry-eyed and ultimately pretty hopeless. It held up just as much on a second viewing; in fact, the little things I was nitpicking about the first time around didn't bother me at all because it's such a strong film overall. It has such a distinct style. The shot above isn't unlike the "magic hour" shots in another Terrence Malick film on this list, Days of Heaven. It really helps elevate a story of a boy and girl in love and acting foolish into something magical. And couldn't we all use a little magic now and then?

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