Badlands

Reflecting on Terrence Malick's films

Reviewing your notes and reactions to the films in our first group, what makes Terrence Malick's films visually distinct? In other words, what are the signature features of mise-en-scene in his films? What other "authors" do you think contribute to these signatures - directors of photography? costume designers? production designers? actors?

Who are Kit and Holly?

In chapter 2 of Patterson, Patterson argues that, "Through com-binations of mise-en-scene - their actions and their spoken (and unspoken) words - we are offered various ways of reading their [Holly and Kit's] characters; what we are not offered are emphatically clear and definitive readings ... these characters are fundamentally lacking a clear sense of their own identity" (28).

What do you think Patterson means by "com-binations of mise-en-scene"? Can you think of examples to support her argument? Do you agree with her interpretation of Kit and Holly? Are their specific moments 'in the frame', or combinations of moments, that shift your understanding of who these characters are?


Film Analysis: BADLANDS

Below are images from Badlands for use in the Film Analysis assignment. Choose two for analysis and focus on identifying the dominant and subsidiary contrasts in each frame. Be sure to explain why your eye is drawn where it is and in what order.

Remember, you only need to do a Film Analysis for two of the three films in this first group. Badlands is the first film in the group.

At 4:28:

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At 5:07:

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At 11:14:

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At 32:35:

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At 49:40:

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At 87:13:

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