Monday, June 23, 2008

Days of Heaven

One of the joys of being alone with my husband, aside from the obvious, is that we get to act like the free-wheeling couple we once were. Talk, and listen without interruption. Or sit together in silence, reading, people watching, savoring each other's company.

We used to go to movies all the time before JH, and I was looking forward to seeing a film that wasn't animated, but our only choice was between Zohan, The Love Guru and Get Smart, none of which appealed to me. I wanted a grown up film, with a story and pretty scenery. Plus, as taken as I am with Steve Carrell, I couldn't bare the thought of betraying the memory of Don Adams. Plus the reviews sucked.

So last night we ate out at the only restaurant in town that was open. We took books, and ate and laughed and read and then came home and watched Days of Heaven on our big tv. It's been years since I'd last seen it. I think we had gone to some theater in Hollywood years ago, and it was a terrible print that didn't do it justice. At all. So nothing stuck with me about this film, other than the fact that it was on a farm, and it was supposed to be pretty.

Seeing it last night though, oh my. It took my breath away. Terence Malick's vision is so clear, and he uses the landscape and the times to tell most of the story. That haunting narrative by Linda Manz, the perfect score by Ennio Morricone, and that lush, elegiac cinematography by Nestor Almendros & Haskell Wexler.... so stunning, and I mean that in the literal sense. The shot of the flaggers waving in the field at dawn's early light, the train on that mile high trestle against the backdrop of nothing but sky, the wagon loads of workers arriving at the farm in that incredible sweeping shot, I swear I stopped breathing at times. Breath. Taking.

Richard Gere was such a pretty boy, too, but what struck me was watching Sam Sheperd. Such an amazing performance. But it was Linda Manz through whom the story is told, and her voice and her look are so unique, so unaffected, so utterly perfect to tell this particular story.

I wonder what treats today will bring in this lovely, child-free vacation of ours? I know a bike ride is in our future, and my camera is coming with me everywhere today....


Anonymous said...


Living vicariously through you. Rich and I used to go to a movie at LEAST once a week pre-kids - he is a major movie buff and will watch almost anything willingly.

I can count on 2 hands the number of nights we've had together without kids in 8 years.

Sigh. Someday. ENJOY!!

anniemcq said...

Oh, MVM, I know. I can count the times on one hand, too. Or maybe two hands. But still, not many. I promise to savor this for you.

I know, I give and I give....

suttonhoo said...

days of heaven added to the netflix queue. thank you ms. anniemcq. :)

p.s. did I tell you I had a chance to see the maestro at radio city a few years ago? oh. my. the room was filled with Italians, of course, and after Morricone ran through his tremendous scores, and all those amazing emotions from all those amazing films had finished their course, the Italians stood to their feet and thundered "Maestro! Maestro!" until he did it some more.

I went because a friend suggested it might be the only time he ever played in the U.S. Dunno if that's true, but I'm awfully glad I did it.