Happy July 4th week everyone! If anyone needs to borrow my DVDs of Armageddon or Independence Day, let me know. Both are required viewing in the Labuza household.
-Haywire, 2012. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Blu-Ray.
-Days of Heaven, 1978. Directed by Terrence Malick. 35mm projection at Museum of the Moving Image.
-Funny Face, 1957. Directed by Stanley Donen. Digital Cinema Projection at Film Forum.
Days of Heaven for me is not only Terrence Malick’s mastpiece, it’s truly one of the greatest films ever made. I found myself in awe as I watched the beautiful 35mm print earlier today, not only by the striking images of nature, but the wondrous camera work, stunning score, and simply the way the film refuses to be defined. Writing at it at length feels almost impossible. I can’t even begin to describe the feelings I have, and how everything in this film comes together. I do want to note a few of the more striking shots in the film, and some notes on those.
This is the first POV shot by the farmer (Sam Sheppard) at Abby. I love the way she’s just slightly out of focus and the portraiture nature of her framing. She’s as ephemeral as she is beautiful, and the farmer can’t seem to quite grasp her, as this shot suggests.
This comes during one of the tractor sequences, but I like the way it recalls the opening moments of the film with Bill in the factory. He cannot escape his past, and is doomed to repeat himself.
Second shot from Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols, USA, 2011)
Forget Behn Zeitlin. Jeff Nichols is the true successor to Terrence Malick.
“I met this guy named Ding-Dong. He told me the whole Earth is goin' up in flame. Flames will come out of here and there and they'll just rise up. The mountains are gonna go up in big flames, the water's gonna rise in flames. There's gonna be creatures runnin' every which way, some of them burnt, half of their wings burnin'. People are gonna be screamin' and hollerin' for help. See, the people that have been good - they're gonna go to heaven and escape all that fire. But if you've been bad, God don't even hear you. He don't even hear ya talkin'.” -Linda