A semi-abstracted collage about (not quite "of") unsafety, the different threads do collectively evoke an underlying fear, a struggle against unspoken but omnipresent threats. A disquieting suggestion of bodily and spiritual unwelcomeness is formed between the harshly edited footage of Gary wandering Monet's gardens, footage of Nina Simone's raw and defiantly protracted live performance of "Feelings" circa 1979, mercifully short excerpts of Diamond Reynolds's broadcast of Philando Castile's death, and Gary's interviews in Harlem with passing black women. Most of…
I'm not sure if I've ever been so on-board with everything in a movie except its visuals. Hogg's use of a casual, elliptical rhythm fantastically expresses how gradually and subtly toxic and abusive beviour bloom and insinuate themselves without being consciously acknowledged, as does her attention to revealing details in lines and performances, usually punctuated subtly (and, once or twice, with devastating directness). This has been well-remarked upon elsewhere. I liked the movie.
But try as I might, I can't…
Taken in context of Malick's oeuvre, this is really interesting in how it shifts away from virtuosity: I'd rank neither the sound design, edit, nor cinematography near the peak of his work in those fields (though they're all really good). A Hidden Life is more focused on using cumulative vignettes in a fairly classical narrative structure in order to emotionally, morally, and theologically approach someone whom Malick keeps at arms reach, at least in a prosaic sense.
It certainly worked for me (his talents as a writer are frequently overlooked).
Quality Control pass on private reconstruction of the 1967 international cut.
The laserdisc audio is by far the best the film has ever sounded on home video, and the light colour correction we've done removes the worst of the MGM blu-ray's excesses (in particular the yellowed highlights) without coming anywhere near the Kino disc's botched white balancing.
We used material from five personally owned home video editions of the film in this process: the US laserdisc (primary cutting reference, primary…