Days of Heaven (The Criterion Collection)
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Terrence Malick is one of the greatest filmmakers alive, and after Sergio Leone he is my second favorite director of all time. In his career that spans almost 40 years he has only made four feature length films. What I love about Malick's films is that they are poetry; they break all the conventions of filmmaking. When you sit down to watch a Terrence Malick film you are readying yourself for an experience. The way he examines human nature in every single one of his films is extraordinary. Every one of his films also deals with man's impact on nature and he slowly erases the lines between sanity and insanity. His directorial debut was with Badlands starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek; a haunting story of lovers on the run from the law. His next film is still undoubtedly one of the most moving pieces of cinema ever created, Days Of Heaven.
Days Of Heaven tells the story of Bill (Richard Gere) and Abby (Brooke Adams); two young people in love trying to make ends meet and find work. The two go around pretending to be brother and sister as to protect themselves from the outside world. At the beginning of the film Bill gets in a tussle at the steel mill and accidentally kills his boss. Now Bill, Abby and Linda (Linda Manz) hop a train to go work on a farm to harvest wheat. The story is told through Linda's perspective. Linda is the real sister of Bill and she is barely a teenager. It's interesting that Malick lets the story unfold through the eyes of an innocent child; I think it gives complex situations in the film a simpler point of view. As the story unfolds and they work on the farm Bill finds out that the owner of the farm is dying of a terminal illness. The farmer is played by Sam Shepard in his first major role.Read more ›
While it was too much to hope for a commentary by the media-shy Malick, Criterion has provided us with the next best thing: a commentary by art director Jack Fisk, editor Billy Weber (both men have worked on all of Malick's films), costume designer Patricia Norris and casting director Dianne Crittenden. Weber talks about Linda Manz's inexperience as an actress and how she kept referring to Richard Gere, Brooke Adams and Sam Shepard by their real names. Fisk talks about the challenges of constructing sets with very little preparation time. They all talk about Malick's working methods and provide fascinating insight into the director's creative process.
There is an audio interview with Richard Gere that plays over footage from the film. The actor says that the filmmaker spent a year casting and this drove him crazy and he almost left the film. Gere candidly reveals that Malick didn't really know how to direct actors and this led to some frustration on their part.
Also included is a 2002 interview with Sam Shepard who mentions that Malick was shy and almost embarrassed to ask him to be in the film. Shepard also talks about the filmmaker's attention to detail and how in awe he was of nature and his desire to capture it on film.
Finally, there are interviews with camera operators John Bailey and Haskell Wexler.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this movie for the historic content; the steam engines that use to do all of our farming. I'm glad this finally came out on DVD.Published 8 days ago by Mary G.
Loved it for the beauty of the cinematography and for its bizarre and magnetic characters and storyPublished 10 days ago by Kathleen M.
great shipping. the movie is full of emotional scenes, and excellent.Published 1 month ago by Rebecca C. Walker
Good story along with excellent cinematography, makes this movie a must watch at least once. Not at the level of Bad Lands or Thin Red Line. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Chase Simons
It was marketed as Blu-Ray and it's no. I was unable to return it because I'm unable to print a label.Published 2 months ago by lost in d.c.
Got a big LG OLED a few months ago, and meant to buy this right away. Finally got around to it. It looks as great as I remembered. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer