In some ways I wish I didn’t love Terence Malik’s movies as much. I am at heart a movie enthusiast as against a film-lover. Give me Jurassic Park and Juno over something by Krzysztof Kieslowski. But this tale of Abraham, Sarah and Pharaoh re-set in Texas in the early 20th Century is yet another masterful investigation of nature and grace and what it means to be good and what it means to make amends and how it is that we are half angels and half devils. Roger Ebert put it well in one of his reviews:
What is the point of “Days of Heaven”–the payoff, the message? This is a movie made by a man who knew how something felt, and found a way to evoke it in us. That feeling is how a child feels when it lives precariously, and then is delivered into security and joy, and then has it all taken away again–and blinks away the tears and says it doesn’t hurt.
Maybe the most influential soundtrack in all of film. Allegedly the most beautiful cinematography. A guy like me can’t be taken on questions like that. But I can say that even from the perspective of narrative, this is a masterpiece that tells more than what it tells, tells it obliquely and tells it compellingly.
Your Correspondent, He is selling faith on the Go-Tell Crusade