Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Reaping And Sowing

Days Of Heaven(1978) Directed By Terrance Malick

Richard Gere and co. move on up to the big house on the prairie. After an accidental murder, Gere takes his girlfriend and kid sister, from Chicago, to work the wheat fields in Texas as day-labourers. The wealthy young farmer whose land they work is dying, and has an eye for Gere's girlfriend.Gere convinces her to marry the farmer, on the pretense that he'll be dead soon, and they'll inherit his fortune.
He moves into the farmer's house as her brother.
They go from the impoverished backbreaking lives of field hands to living picturesque care-free "Days Of Heaven".
Visually, I can see why this won so many cinematography awards, it really is beautiful to watch.
They only shot this during "the magic hour" filming only 20 minutes a day, after the sunset, in the half light. The world can only handle this kinda beauty for a few minutes a day, Malick extends it for an inhuman two hours, and its almost worth the price of admission alone. The story is narrated by Gere's younger sister who imbues the drama with a simplicity and innocence that suits the lush landscape. She also sets the stage for the tensions throughout. Some of her first thoughts on entering the fields are of Biblical fires swallowing the entire world in apocalyptic judgement, land by the end of the film it comes to pass. "Days of Heaven" is a classic tale of paradise lost, going from innocence and wonder to literal plagues of locust and ruin for all. Theres little dialogue tied with narration, but the images really tell the story.I avoided this, for along time, because I thought the story sounded to simple to be interesting for it's length, but the story does not make the movie. Seeing is definitely believing here.

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