Days of Heaven

Days of Heaven ★★★★

"What is the point of "Days of Heaven"--the payoff, the message? This is a movie made by a man who knew how something felt, and found a way to evoke it in us. That feeling is how a child feels when it lives precariously, and then is delivered into security and joy, and then has it all taken away again--and blinks away the tears and says it doesn't hurt."

Day 2 of my Malick Marathon. As usual, can't try and say it much better than Mr. Ebert did in his gorgeous review. Though I, like Linda, could only glimpse at a distanced version of the desires and passions on display, I too felt the longing, safety and loss held in the dusk-bathed, wheat-filled Eden she finds herself in. Elemental forces whip about her; the Farmer and Bill, initially a reassuring breeze and comforting, life-giving flame, gust and rage each other into a infernal maelstrom that leaves nothing but scorched earth and death of innocence. Abby, a cool and passive stream that laps at one's feet and recedes, is ultimately powerless. Where the naturalism of Badlands felt appropriately listless, here things are imbued with a stoic religiosity. The result is a muted parable that tries to express those things which are inexpressible.

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