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Days of Heaven

Directed by Terrence Malick

USA, 1978

Cornerhouse, 4 September 2011

Days of Heaven

A visionary film, certainly, although the main storyline does owe something to The Wings of the Dove.

For Eden, there is early twentieth-century Texas, the wheat fields teeming with life, a paradise where an age-old drama is to be played out.  There are a fair few tragedies and heartbreaks here, but there is beauty too – and Malick has an unerring eye for it.  Even the locusts that herald the fire and the Fall and the lovers’ Exodus have their own exquisite beauty.  There is a Biblical flavour to it, overall: the Devil may (contra Bach) have the best tunes, but God certainly has the best stories.

The ending reminds me of an old film noir, maybe Gun Crazy or High Sierra or both.

A gorgeously shimmering  film, full of wonders and terrors.

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