Days of Heaven (1978)

Days of Heaven (1978) — Earlier on I reviewed The Seventh Seal (great film) and referred to films that I have watched where I have been cognizant of their “greatness” yet not been particularly absorbed in.  Less than twelve hours later, I find myself with a perfect example.  I am big fan of transcendentalist cinema.  Robert Bresson, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Yasujiro Ozu, David Gordon Green [pre-Pineapple Express]: all awesome film-makers [tangent: Pineapple Express is awesome as well but doesn’t really fit the transcendental mold of Green’s earlier films].  More recently I very much enjoyed The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which I feel qualifies to be considered in this particular subgenre.  One film I very much enjoyed in this style was Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line, still one of my favorite war films.  Malick is not a prolific film-maker, having made only four films (Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, & The New World) in a career spanning almost forty years.  In fact he spent exactly twenty years between his second and third film.  So I was jonesing to see some earlier work by him.  It was exactly what I was expecting, but for some reason just never connected with me.  The narration, the acting, and especially the cinematography all were fantastic but I just never got into it.  I’m glad I own it because I feel that this is a movie that very much warrants revisiting at another time in my life, but for now I was underwhelmed.

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