Days of Heaven : Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

Also beautiful music by Ennio Morricone.

6/10

"It's 80% script and 20% you get great actors. There's nothing else to it."
William Wyler

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

lose the one you love to somebody else and then watch this movie again

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

I felt other than the cinematography, this was a very empty story. You don't really care for anyone. Sort of the farmer, but his presence is cut short by the director, which is so unfortunate. Actually, conversations are cut mid sentence throughout the film without any type of real resolve or banter, so character development is null. And sorry to say, it's hard to buy that two men would be fighting over Abby- she is not very pretty nor charming or intelligent (as far as how she was portrayed in the movie- I am sure in real life she is a very charming, intelligent person).

Just overall a very odd movie that was done incorrectly. It's missing that link, that something that would have made it a classic. Too much focus on visual, short on story and character development.

Amanda

"She was drunk or he was crazy."

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

The character development is there in the pictures. And these people remain somewhat enigmantic and removed by design, of course; just like in Badlands, we`re seeing everything (as if) through the eyes of someone who doesn`t entirely understand the world, is mystified by it.



"facts are stupid things" - Ronald Reagan

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

The enigmatic characters are obviously done by design on purpose, but it suffers for it. The audience just isn't engaged.


Other than being viewable on Amazon Prime, I have never heard of this movie before- unusual for well-know actors Richard Gere and Sam Shepherd- because it simply it isn't memorable. It was unable to stand the test of time.

The director missed the mark on this. Some tweaking could have made it a classic. What a waste as it could've been...a contender.



Amanda

"She was drunk or he was crazy."

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

"The audience just isn`t engaged".

Maybe you should speak for yerself or something.


"It simply isn`t memorable".

See above.


"It was unable to stand the test of time".

And this conclusion is based on what? The universal critical acclaim? The rating of 7,9/10 it`s got on IMDb?


"The director missed the mark on this".

You don`t seem to understand what the "mark" here was, in the first place. Days Of Heaven, in its essence, is a (highly successful) exercise in purely visual storytelling, where everything of importance is communicated through images and soundscape; the only vital and relevant words are spoken by Linda Manz on the voiceover. It`s your job to adapt, not Malick`s to conform to the demands of cinema as filmed theater.




"facts are stupid things" - Ronald Reagan

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

Yeah hardly. It's not our job to conform or adapt to anything. While I disagree that it isn't memorable or unable to stand the test of time, Malick movies are practically empty compared to other director's works. Take films that are true fine example of mostly visual stories such as most movies made by Refn or kubrick among a bunch of other examples, there's arguably much more depth to the story and characters.

It's great that we are seeing it from a perspective of someone who's mystified, but fields of wheat and a dumb love triangle hold no interest for me. Some people are mystified by how they can kill and torture others in imaginative ways, or by the grace of a christian god who doesn't exist. doesn't mean I have to adapt to the lofty standards of Saw or Ben-Hur.

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

"It`s not our job to conform or adapt to anything".

True - actually, you don`t even have to watch any movies at all. However, if you`re intent on accusing the director of missing some kind of a "mark", you should first have an understanding of what that "mark" was.


"Malick movies are practically empty".

Empty of what?


"There`s arguably much more depth to the story and characters".

The story, essentially Biblical as it is, is quite epic, its scope pretty much matching Kubrick`s more ambitious work. And despite that enigmatic, distant quality that the characters have, the basics about their inner lives and concerns are effectively communicated by brief glimpses of them captured by the camera, or snippets of dialogue. Above all, it`s these "fields of wheat" that do the talking; it`s all in the imagery, sound and the surgically precise editing that are used to evoke emotional states.




"facts are stupid things" - Ronald Reagan

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

Whoa there, you cared for the farmer?!?!

He's nuts.

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.


And sorry to say, it's hard to buy that two men would be fighting over Abby- she is not very pretty
That's very funny! Two virile young males in the Texas panhandle in 1916 with nothing but manual labor to do, and one available woman...yes, hard to buy there'd be any fighting over her! That's rich.

Just overall a very odd movie that was done incorrectly. It's missing that link, that something that would have made it a classic.
Do tell! I for one am dying to hear all about your missing link expertise, and/or corrections you might apply, presuming your considerable directorial prowess. Such a way with words!





Beer--now there's a temporary solution ~ Homer Simpson

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

It depends on what you think "the story" is. If by "the story" you mean the love triangle, then I agree it's underplayed. But to me that's not "the story".

"The story" is "the fall", the end of living in The Garden of Eden. Maybe Edenic life fell apart just because it was overrun by people with petty and conflicting desires. Or maybe it fell apart because of natural disasters (i.e. the plague of locusts). Or maybe it fell apart because "industrial civilization" displaced it (Bill seems to always be around machinery, we get more vistas inside the steel mill than we expect, note the hat hung on the antlers, the birds driven from their nests by the mower, wildlife we know ultimately won't transition to a farmed landscape, the tractors loom like monstrous beasts, etc.).

Or maybe it's as much about an individual growing past that awkward age as it is about the whole civilization. And that individual is Linda. All the events of the "love triangle" are seen through her eyes: often fragmented, irrational and unpredictable, not fully understood, and second hand.

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

….as if you were watching REAL LIFE and not a MOOOVIE

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.


Actually, conversations are cut mid sentence throughout the film without any type of real resolve or banter, so character development is null.


This was what particularly captivated and amazed me. Malik cuts the dialogue but the viewer understands whats going on in the story. I think it also in a strange way made me feel more for some characters, in particular the Sam Shapard character and what he might be going through. The scene when he watched them exchange something intimate from a distance was very powerful -- especially the shot right after that.

"Oh, Mama, can this really be the end, to be stuck inside of mobile
with the memphis blues again"

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

I agree with the OP. I'm posting this 35 years after the film was first made and this is my first watch. It seems a bit dated. Scenes just drag on too long and there isn't really much going on. I only had 1 or 2 brief moments when I was anticipating what was to come next. I give it a 6 by todays standards.

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

Oh yes, these illustrious "today's standards"...



"facts are stupid things" - Ronald Reagan

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

"Oh yes, these illustrious "today's standards"... "

lol...


Just saw the film today on Netflix as part of my "Terrence Malick marathon". Obviously, the cinematography was ahead of its time and the movie truly is beautiful to look at which striking imagery and sweeping shots.

As for the narrative, strictly speaking of the plot, characters and dialogue, the film is absolutely nothing special. BUT I agree with a few on this board that that indeed is not what this movie about and rather there's a symbolic nature to it that is strictly presented in the film's images and not via dialogue and plot which is truly an unconventional method of film making.

I don't know how I feel about this film, honestly. I currently have it sitting at a 7/10 (more like 7.5 without IMDb's restrictions) due to its uninteresting plot but I feel like it deserves higher. I feel like I'm missing something crucial from the movie. Maybe I'm just not equipped for visual storytelling as it was done here? I'm not sure, but I do know I enjoyed the film, despite not caring for a lot of the things that usually determine how good a movie is!

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

This sums up my thoughts perfectly. I even gave it the same rating. Gorgeous cinematography, but the overall story suffers from mediocre writing and acting. None of the big climactic moments feel earned.

___
http://i.imgur.com/NFBOAcA.gif

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

I disagree. (But them again I am a Malik fan).

I have seen all his films and if anything this one is actually more structured and coherent than most of his other films.

This film has a very special quality in that is starts off very visual and detached and sucks the viewer into the characters and the story -- that by the time the farmer is killed you don't realize how drawn into the story you have gotten.



"Oh, Mama, can this really be the end, to be stuck inside of mobile
with the memphis blues again"

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

I think the most visually stunning, yet completely EMPTY film I have seen of late was ironically by this same director... which is Tree of Life. Malick has certainly gone downhill, no doubt. This film is slow, but at least IT HAS A PLOT. It has linear dialogue. It has character development, sans Abby perhaps. But if you REALLY want to see a film with some great cinematic shots but absolutely dreadful story narrative (and also nominated for BEST PICTURE by the Academy this year (?!???!!), then Mad Max: Fury Road is exceptional in its lack of substance AND dialogue.



ATTN: Please check out 4chan for the most intelligent conversations on cinema, TV, & thespians!

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

Threads like this remind me of how culturally conservative our society is. IMDb you would think at least would draw people who would pretend to have some knowledge about films other than "I like this, I hate that!" Some people on this thread seem to, well think is giving them too much credit, how about assume without thinking, that films should, must only be of a certain kind with a set approach.

Not all films need to be driven by some intricately plotted narrative. This one it should have been obvious didn't set out to do that.

Re: Visually beautiful, but an ultimately unsatisfying story.

Opinion stated as fact.

Don't judge on one viewing.

Or Robert Wilke will hunt you down.

www.cultfilmfreaks.com
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