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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on November 28 at 10:00 AM

‘Days of Heaven’
(FILM) All the rapturous bleating about Terrence Malick’s recent trifle The New World makes sense only in one context: the absolute glory of the films made before his 20-year hiatus. Days of Heaven, from 1978, is slow and takes visual luxuries that the story—about a love triangle between two migrant workers and a wealthy landowner—can’t quite justify. But when you see those blissfully arid images pouring through a new 35mm print, you won’t care. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 267-5380. 7 and 9 pm, $5—$8.) ANNIE WAGNER

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Visually, this has to be one of the most beautiful movies ever filmed.

It's also one of the most spare as far as dialog is concerned. All of the dialog in this very long film could probably fit on one page, and I've always wondered what the script looked like. It's a fascinating take on a less is more style of writing.

Posted by Andrew | November 28, 2006 10:30 AM

The assistant director, Skip Cosper, spoke at a college screening I attended in the 1980s. He said the film's visual grandeur was partly because of Malick's decision to shoot most exterior scenes during "magic hour," the period of muted natural light immediately before sundown.

Posted by Creek | November 28, 2006 11:15 AM


I saw this last week, and it occured to me that perhaps a lot of the dialogue was improvised; it's so spare and spontaneous that it felt like it wasn't really "scripted" in that sense at all (the voice overs of course are another matter entirely).

Simply a gorgeous film, and the new 35 mm print is nearly flawless.

Posted by COMTE | November 28, 2006 11:30 AM

Good point and that makes sense; maybe much of it was ad-libbed. I guess I hadn't thought of that because the visuals are so hypnotic.

Posted by Andrew | November 28, 2006 11:53 AM

There's an urban legend about the 70mm prints of this film. (You think it looks good in 35mm? 70mm was a visual orgasm). Anyway, the story goes that the 70mm prints are all gone because someone high up in Paramount hated Tom Cruise, and ordered all the prints of Days of Thunder destroyed. And someone got it almost right. Oops.

Posted by MyDogBen | November 29, 2006 6:13 AM

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