Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesdays: Bad Guys

Go visit Boxer to see who else is participating.

I'd sure hate to find myself turning into one of those five-miles-up-hill-in-the-snow kinds of people, but when it comes to movies, I'm afraid I just might. Movies really were better way back when. Specifically, in the 1970s, when Hollywood seemed less concerned with big bucks and big deals and more with pushing the envelop of what was considered art in film.

To me, Badlands is one of the definitive films of the 1970s. Loosely based on the Charles Starkweather/Caril Ann Fugate killing spree (the pair murdered eleven people in Nebraska and Wyoming over a two month period in 1958), the movie not only marked the directorial debut of Terence Malick, it also established him as one of America's most poetic young filmmakers.

With Badlands Malick created a movie that is compact without being rushed, spare without being mute, and chilling without being exploitative. Its subject – the celebration of the criminal as celebrity – was ahead of its time, as was its treatment of evil as a commonality of everyday life. Add to all that superlative acting, Tak Fukimoto's stunning cinematography, and a score that mixes classics like Carl Orff's "Musica Poetica" with contemporary pop songs, and you've got what is perhaps one of the best movies ever made.


Boxer said...

Wow. Great pick. A movie I've heard of, but never watched. This clip is so beautiful; being in the forest, living off the land it made me think of Chickory and YET..... things weren't beautiful, they were evil. Or bad. I've said over the years that no great movies were made in 1970 but what the hell did I know? I was a kid. I agree that art was more free to be expressed in films during a time when studios were still small and block busters didn't control everything. What a great clip. Thanks!

Karl said...

Good morning Moi,

I missed this one, I will have to try and find it.

I agree with you about the earlier movies, they seem to be able to make their point without being overly graphic.

Happy Clip Day!

TROLL Y2K said...

Did this movie inspire a copy-cat killer at some point? Vaguely recall that. Cool original choice.

Happy MCW!

K9 said...

terrific choice. martin sheen looking very captain willard. and sissy. shes the original sweet faced nightmare. i believe "carrie" is a 70's film too. scary!
this clip illustrates the condition of civilization: the juxtaposition of the sacred and the profane; the dark hearts flash of beauty and the fact that the edge is oh so close at all times.

savannah said...

another great clip! well done with the theme, sugar. xoxo

happy MCW

Kymical Reactions said...

this gives me chills just watching the clip. I sort of remember watching this, but I don't remember it. Need to check it out again.

Buzz Kill said...

It's amazing how much Martin Sheen and Charlie Sheen look alike. And Charlie did a movie called The Chase which had a similar plot (not as violent though).

Happy MCW!

Pam said...

I used to know a guy who was a total student of that whole Starkweather business. Now that I look back ... uh, totally creepy! But wait a minute, let's talk about Martin Sheen running through the woods looking like ... Charlie Sheen in that supposed-to-be-funny-but-isn't movie. Sissy is just perfection.

moi said...

Boxer: Oh, hon, the 70s were one of the best times for movies! A golden era of another kind.

Karl: My family's primary mode of entertainment was movie-going. I was probably underage for a lot of the films they took me and my brother to, but then again, I got a real visual education. If, on occasion, a few nightmares :o).

Troll: I'm not sure. I do know that nearly 20 years later, it was the main inspiration for Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers, another of my favorite movies in this genre, but for completely different reasons.

K9: You got it. Not to put too cliched a point on it, but it's a "deep" movie on many levels. And as American as it gets. For a while I thought Sissy Spacek would become the great female hope of American cinema but I think she was too specific and was edged out by Meryl Streep, who is much more of a chameleon.

Savannah: Thanks! I haven't seen it in a long time, but I'm beginning to see with this meme, the justification for Netflixs.

Kym: If you ever had a film class in high school or college, you probably saw it. I first saw it as a kid, and then again in high school.

Buzz: The family resemblance is pretty freaky, isn't it?

Pam: You're so right! I also immediately thought of Charlie Sheen in Platoon.

TROLL Y2K said...

Methinks the "How SB and Moi Met" haiku deserves an elucidation post.

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The Poet Laura-eate said...

Badlands is amazing - Martin Sheen at his heartbreaking best out-James Deaning James Dean!

You are so right about it being one of the defining films of the 70s.

Incredibly haunting music, breathtaking cinematography, and although you know he has to be stopped from his murderous rampage, you are somehow in a strange way rooting for them to escape, which is quite disturbing.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Martin Sheen rocks! I really would have loved to see him become President in real life (once he'd put the murderous rampages behind him obviously)

I do remember sneaking down late at night and watching Badlands when my parents were in bed and I was about 7 though. It took my breath away then and it takes my breath away now.

Making Space said...

Hey! Moi! I got somethin' for ya! It'll make you rush, whimpering, to cuddle with your bad guys, 'cause all of a sudden they'll seem so SANE! Bwahahaha! http://makingspacethejourneyout.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/for-moi-and-diva/