in American cinema"
"based on Charles Starkweather and Caril-Ann Fugate's
1958 killing spree"
"this film has become a cult classic"
"an early cult classic"
by Terrence Malick with Martin Sheen
and Sissy Spacek
It's South Dakota 1959. A couple of youngsters, Kit
and Holly, embark on a fantasy journey which results in violence and
Terrence Malick's Badlands has become a cornerstone
in American cinema. Its influence can be seen years later in the
Tarantino-penned Natural Born Killers and True Romance among
others, and it remains arguably one of the finest debuts by a director in
Hollywood history. Astonishingly, Malick has only made two movies since: Days
of Heaven (1979) and The
Thin Red Line (1998).
Badlands also brought Martin Sheen
and Sissy Spacek to the notice of Hollywood for the first time. Shot on a
low budget, the film portrays a loved-up couple on the run from the law who
embark on a series of killings motivated by their need to survive.
Like Tarantino's later anti-heroes and heroines, Kit and
Holly are killers without conscience. Holly's naïve teenage mentality
makes her passive attitude seem even more shocking, and her only comment
that leads us to believe she has any grasp of the situation is when she
mentions that Kit may be a little crazy. Yet there is also an innocent,
"young love" side to the couple's actions which the audience cannot fail
to feel pity for, greatly helped by the pairing of Sheen and Spacek as
well as Malick's gift for drawing the finest and most sensitive
performances from his actors.
On the DVD: Badlands is shown in a
1.85:1 widescreen print and 5.1 surround sound.
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