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Days of Heaven

Brooke Adams in Person
Screening on Film
$15 Special Event Tickets
Directed by Terrence Malick.
With Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard.
US, 1978, 35mm, color, 94 min.
Print source: HFA

Terrence Malick’s second film is set in the Texas Panhandle in 1916, with a plot out of the operas and stage melodramas of that era: lovers on the run pose as brother and sister to find work on a farm, only to have the ailing farmer fall in love with the young woman—Brooke Adams in a role that would beguile audiences as well. She and fellow unknowns Richard Gere and Sam Shepard portray their descent from Eden with penetrating looks and laconic dialogue, while a child’s disarming commentary—improvised by Linda Manz—provides a poetic chorus and distanced point-of-view. With World War I just over the horizon, the loss of innocence detailed by the screenplay parallels the pristine landscapes beginning to be despoiled by early modern technology. Cinematographers Nestor Almendros and Haskell Wexler shot almost exclusively with natural light. Their ravishing panoramas and the restrained power of Malick’s performers bring his imagination to lucid life. – adapted from a note by David Pendleton

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