Top Fifty Films of the 70s — Number Fifteen

#15 — Badlands (Terrence Malick, 1973) Terrence Malick has so solidly secured his place in cinema as the agonizingly meticulous crafter of exquisitely poetic, emotionally abstracted films–with perhaps the decisive argument in favor of that judgment offered by the utterly brilliant Tree of Life–that it obscures the earthy urgency of his earliest efforts. Yes, Malick has a preternatural ability to realize beautiful imagery, just as Steven Spielberg had an uncanny knack for the mechanics of narrative storytelling from the very beginning, but there was also a deep ferocity to his storytelling in his first couple of films, an ability to … Continue reading Top Fifty Films of the 70s — Number Fifteen

Arteta, Feig, Hayward, Malick, Ritchie

Youth in Revolt (Miguel Arteta, 2009). This was Arteta’s first film in almost a decade after some quick, buzzy success to kick off his career. All the time between features didn’t eliminate his slightly arid style, which has a tendency to deaden the drama after a while. More problematically, the film exhibits a offbeat pushiness as it heaps in quirky details and disaffected anguish. It simply tries to hard. Michael Cera plays a sweet, timidly pining young man who conjures up an imaginary tough-talking alter ego who drives him to get the girl while also slipping deeper into a quicksand … Continue reading Arteta, Feig, Hayward, Malick, Ritchie