Procrastination Theatre: August 21, 2011
This was really sort of unspeakably good. I’ve been watching Terrence Malick movies trying to decide whether or not I will like The Tree of Life. I still don’t know, because Badlands is so clearly just good without being experimental or artsy or anything like that. It’s just excellent. Martin Sheen is one of the best actors who doesn’t act that much anymore, honestly. I’m with the Boyfriend in wondering why Marlon and Robert hog all the glory for Apocalypse, Now. But the fact is that you can’t rest the excellence of Badlands on Sheen and Sissy Spacek, even if they are just remarkable: you have to recognize that it’s the ethos of the entire film that infuses them with this preternatural, terrifying, brutal innocence. I think Sissy Spacek in this movie may be the most interesting manifestation of that frightening mix of girlhood and womanhood in young teenagers I’ve ever seen. Every single image of that movie was really haunting, and not because it was avant garde or bizarre or arthouse, but because it was well-chosen, well-made, and well-executed (a formal precision and attention to detail that, though I liked The New World, was lacking in that movie).
I would strongly recommend this, especially since I still can’t talk about it properly and it’s been two days. That’s usually a good sign.