Film on the Disc: Days of Heaven

As we wrap up the latest Year of the Month (thanks, BurgendySuit as always for organizing!) I felt it prudent to squeeze in one more mention. One thing the Year of the Months shows is how rich most any given calendar year is with memorable titles and 1978 was no exception.

It was during this year that Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven arrived. So arresting and distinct were its images that it would cement his status as an iconic director even through a twenty-year hiatus. This is a pretty amazing achievement considering 1) this reputation was built on only two films and 2) two generations came of age with very little opportunity to see this in a theater.

Apparently rented 16mm copies and then VHS tapes captured enough of the astonishing beauty to keep it alive in the minds of film buffs until Malick returned with The Thin Red Line in 1998. Lucky for us, Blu-Ray gives more depth and color to the film than many of its fans got to enjoy for two decades.

And of course credit must be given to cinematographers Nestor Almendros and Haskell Wexler both for capturing the images and for dealing with an insubordinate crew convinced that neither Almendros nor Malick knew what they were doing.