Essential Big Screen 2023
Screening Dates
  • December 8, 2023 6:30
  • December 14, 2023 8:40
  • December 27, 2023 8:10
New Restoration

Almost incontestably the most gorgeously photographed film ever made.”

Michael Atkinson, Village Voice

Terrence Malick, American cinema’s great philosopher-poet, confirmed his place in the pantheon with this ravishing masterwork, his follow-up to debut Badlands (1973). Set in the 1910s, it stars Richard Gere as Bill, a Chicago steelworker who accidentally kills his foreman then goes on the lam with his sweetheart Abby (Brooke Adams) and teenage sister (Linda Manz), the film’s narrator. Finding refuge in the Elysian wheat fields of the Texas Panhandle, they are hired as seasonal harvesters by an ailing farmer (Sam Shepard), who falls in love with Abby, believing her to be Bill’s sister. Malick motifs abound: hushed, dreamy voiceover; endless magic hour; the indivisibility of man, nature, and God (biblical locusts literally appear). Néstor Almendros’s impressionistic, Oscar-winning cinematography remains a benchmark of the art form. Malick’s visionary prowess won him Best Director at Cannes. This pristine restoration, supervised by Malick, premiered at Venice Classics in September.

Building perfection from chaos, Terrence Malick’s 1978 masterpiece is more than the last cinematic word in aching pictorial romanticism—it’s practically an act of magic.”

Bilge Ebiri, Time Out