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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This week at SFC: Badlands

Thursday May 25th

All our screenings are FREE ones.

Film will commence at 8:15 pm. Doors open at 7:30 pm.

(Terrence Malick/USA/1973/90')

Now in his early sixties, Badlands director Terrence Malick ranks among the cinema's great poets, up there alongside Griffith,Ozu, Ford, Lean and Bresson, on the strength of just four movies made over a period of some 30 years--Badlands (1973), Days of Heaven (1978), The Thin Red Line (1998), and The New World (2005). They're all concerned with man's transaction with the land, the corruption of innocence, the fable of the expulsion from Eden and the American propensity towards destructive violence.

Badlands was one of the most impressive directorial debuts ever. On the surface, it's merely another rural-gangster movie in the tradition of Bonnie and Clyde, with its young 'innocents' - a James Dean-lookalike garbage collector and his magazine-addict girlfriend - first killing her father when he objects to their relationship, then going on a seemingly gratuitous homicidal spree across the Dakota Badlands. But what distinguishes the film, beyond the superb performances of Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek, the use of music, and the luminous camerawork by Tak Fujimoto, is Malick's unusual attitude towards psychological motivation: the dialogue tells us one thing, the images another, and Spacek's beautifully artless narration, couched in terms borrowed from the mindless media mags she's forever reading, yet another. This complex perspective on an otherwise simple plot manages to reveal so much while making nothing explicit, and at the same time seems perfectly to evoke the world of '50s suburbia in which it is set.

Filmmakers, amateurs, home-movie makers: you are welcome to submit interesting short stuff for pre-feature screenings.

Please note: During the screening of DiG! (April 13) a young filmmaker's widescreen Sony DCR-HC90 Handycam went missing after he left it briefly in the men's washroom. It was in a compact silver Sony pouch. Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of this camera or indeed if anyone noticed anything suspicious please contact SFC by this email address or phone Gerard W. David at 653-6620/4515. A generous reward is on offer. Apart from the camera itself important footage was also lost within it.


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