It's like 'La Cienaga' meets 'The Servant'. It's an ancient story of romantic deception and betrayal couched in turn-of-the-century Americana, postmodern editing (the clashes of unrelated sounds and images), and the uniquely American wanderlust. For how familiar the story is, it's rather striking in that it plays out like a series of moments. It's rather like the photo montage that opens the movie, overall.
Malick's much celebrated film oscillates between character development and a depiction of an imposing social and natural milieu beyond the control of individual agency. Both motifs are elegantly treated by Almendros but again the indecisive mix of an agrarian epic and art film remains unecessarily fragmentary and far too absorbed in landscape photography. Thus, characters remain fuzzy, in spite of undeniable bravura.
An absolutely incredible film! In terms of a story there is only a rather thin outline to guide things along, but this outline is filled by something utterly transcendent. Of course, there are interesting (and grand) themes here too - love, death, modernity vs. nature and so on. More than anything it is pure poetry; filled with some of the most beautiful shots I have seen on film.
Beautiful, sure, but it feels thin, a series of excuses for Malick to shoot his humanistic agriculture porn. I would have appreciated it more as a longer, silent, non-narrative film. I do admire his sincerity—he risks coming across as comically sentimental in his obsession with American landscapes and salt-of-the-earth people, but I'm totally on board. Aside from the sheer beauty of the images, Manz is the highlight.
So gorgeous to look at. Malick's interest in nature is in early display here too, sometimes conspicuously. It may not have much of a story but everyone is fantastic, especially the little girl. The best voiceover ever. It sets such a perfect tone too - the period is so well rendered, it feels completely authentic. One of the best.
I wonder if people who complain about the characters are watching the actors, because I'm never in doubt of the moral burden writ across each expressive face. Of the magnitude of finding something like paradise, which humans naturally cannot sustain. It's devastating and epic, spiritual in a Spinoza sense that unifies each living thing. For my money perhaps the finest American film of the 70s.
Malick’s 70s giant masterpiece was filmed almost entirely around sunset. Its a hopelessly romantic tale of lovers on the run and a doomed love triangle. Unforgettable images that come to mind are those of a wild fire, a herd of horses, a grasshopper plague and a whole lot of wheat. Pure palpable cinematic magic.
In poco più di un giro e mezzo di orologio Malick e Almendros spiegano il significato di "composizione cinematografica perfetta". La fotografia e la regia del film raggiungono un livello che raramente ho visto prima d'ora, riuscendo a mettere in secondo piano anche la meravigliosa sceneggiatura. Un piacere immenso per gli occhi, potenti i colori tanto quanto la narrazione, giù il cappello per Malick, di nuovo.