Graham’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is so pretty. Stunningly so. Like a moving art installation, choose a frame, almost any frame and it could easily be hung on a wall. As someone that has done a fair bit of photography over the years, I can tell you that this is not something you can teach someone. It's inherent talent. An 'eye' for the detail in every shot that Terrence Malick has like almost no other. The time of day, spacing of the cast, sun-flare, shadows. It's all purposefully composed to create the many pieces of art that make up this simply breathtaking experience.
I recall having similar thoughts after watching Stanley Kubrick's 'Barry Lyndon'. Thoughts of sheer admiration at how something so beautiful can also hold such a deeply moving screenplay. Incredible.
Malick does have a way of presenting film in such warm and golden light, so as to deceive the viewer. Just when you feel all at one with everything in the world, and like nothing could possibly go wrong... bam! He gets you. This was evident in Badlands and for me, the hill scenes in The Thin Red Line. He's not an 'action' director, that's not the point here. This is just about falling in deep and letting the moment entirely consume you.
As a side note, I wonder if Malick was a Queen fan back in the day as that might go some way to explaining Richard Gere's character.
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me, to me
This film was made over 40 years ago, which just beggars belief when you consider the level of technical prowess on show here. It's quite possibly the most beautiful piece of celluloid I've ever seen and for me a dead-set, no questions asked 10/10.
Watched as part of Scavenger Hunt #69 | December 2020.