409 Days of Heaven

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Jean-Luc Garbo
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Re: 409 Days of Heaven

#251 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:23 am

theflicker wrote:I've had problems with the brother/sister matter in the past as well. My most recent viewing was in the company of my brother who is a big Malick fan and asked him about this. He said that he recalls it being a biblical reference. A google search later and I turned up this.
Bill and Abby have fled Chicago with his young sister after he accidentally murders his boss, and decide to tell everyone they are brother and sister to just make things easier. In the Genesis 20 story this references, Abraham likewise claims that beautiful Sarah is his sister, lest the Philistines kill him and take her for themselves.
Actually, Abraham was afraid that an Egyptian (the Pharaoh at the time) not a Philistine would kill him for Sarah. Not sure if that is significant here, but the error in that essay bugged me somewhat.

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Re: 409 Days of Heaven

#252 Post by Dadapass » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:39 pm

The wife presented as sister happens three separate times in Genesis. wiki

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Re: 409 Days of Heaven

#253 Post by Finch » Mon May 02, 2011 6:16 am

Apparently this 1979 interview has never been translated into English before.

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Re: 409 Days of Heaven

#256 Post by kneelzod » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:46 pm

She was responding to this video tribute to OUT OF THE BLUE.

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Re: 409 Days of Heaven

#257 Post by Rupert Pupkin » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:27 am

Hi folks,

I was wondering what is the official status of "Days Of Heaven" regarding the browning/playback issue ?
Did Criterion has updated is official replacement program list since the first official one which has been posted a couple of years ago now ?

Mind you, "M" and "Walkabout" shows some obvious sudden browning on the surface of the whole layer disk and some playback issues. Criterion kindly sent me some replacement disks for these 2 titles. The replacement blu-ray are "second pressing" as I can read on the lithography of the disk.

We all- many of us - had- since they had bought Days Of Heaven some playback issues. My disk is still playable, but the ring of the disk has some "extended browning" albeit it's not the whole surface like for "Walkabout".

Well, if this is not on the official Criterion replacement list, I think that I still have to wait.

Another existential question : I think that this is a good title (well, I mean, I'm not an expert but they probably sent this title a lot) so perhaps there is now a second pressing (from a different) plant, or did they still sell the stocks from the first pressing ?
If someone has some info about this/and or can share their concerns about the playback issue of the disk and perhaps a browning/bronzing oxydation starting on the ring of the disk, I would appreciated your posts. thanks.

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Re: 409 Days of Heaven

#259 Post by beamish14 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:55 pm

I have a question about this film. My father-in-law has attended Cannes on a number of occasions, and according to him, Days of Heaven is directly responsible for
Saint-Saëns's "The Aquarium" being used as entrance music that plays before films that are screening. Is that true?

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Re: 409 Days of Heaven

#260 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:41 pm

It wouldn’t be a surprise, considering Malick won the Best Director prize for Days at the 1979 festival.

Speaking of the film, this excellent Film Comment interview from 1978 with Oscar-winning cinematographer Néstor Almendros just became available online today.

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Days of Heaven (Terence Malick, 1979)

#261 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:33 am


Members have a two week period in which to discuss the film before it's moved to its dedicated thread in The Criterion Collection subforum. Please read the Rules and Procedures.

This thread is not spoiler free. This is a discussion thread; you should expect plot points of the individual films under discussion to be discussed openly. See: spoiler rules.


I encourage members to submit questions, either those designed to elicit discussion and point out interesting things to keep an eye on, or just something you want answered. This will be extremely helpful in getting discussion started. Starting is always the hardest part, all the more so if it's unguided. Questions can be submitted to me via PM.

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Re: Days of Heaven (Terence Malick, 1979)

#262 Post by barbarella satyricon » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:28 am

Not much by way of contributing to the discussion, but just to start the thread out with this (even if already mentioned previously elsewhere): In memoriam Linda Manz, who took leave of this world this past August. Between this film and Hopper’s Out of the Blue, she remains a film legend on a par with James Dean for me. Not on that level of fame or recognition, of course, but just in the spirit of how a handful of movie roles in a lifetime - whether that lifetime was a short or a longer one (Linda was 58) - can cohere into a performer’s embodied poetics of living, a practical philosophy lived out in movie-time. If that sounds a little hifalutin, it only kind of gets at what Linda Manz in the movies has meant to me. Recently caught up with a first-time viewing of Fincher’s The Game and was momentarily taken out of that contrived narrative by Manz’s bit part as a landlady/neighbor. It was good to see her turning up, even if outside of the game, even if for a paycheck and whatever residuals. Hope you found your real Days of Heaven, Linda, where the golden hour never ends.

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Re: Days of Heaven (Terence Malick, 1979)

#263 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:19 am

I happened to rewatch this for Malick's birthday; I hadn't seen it in over half a decade. While I enjoyed it then, I didn't find it as great as Malick's later films which, at the time, I was enraptured with––the sweeping, floating camera of The New World, The Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line, even To the Wonder dazzled me. By comparison, while I liked Badlands and Days of Heaven, the comparative restriction of the camera was less impressive. That, of course, was in my teenaged youth. Since then, the beauty of floating steadicam and gliding movement as been replaced by sharp blocking and composition, textured environments, and the relationship between the camera and bodies in space (so, focal lengths essentially).

Given this, I was rocked tonight by Days of Heaven. The film is astonishing first and foremost for the fact that it exists: in an era in which CGI has both made the ability to show anything possible but also has reduced the imaginative scope of filmmakers, Malick's fractured scrapbook textile of a film genuinely feels like someone took their camera and was able to live a full summer, winter, and summer again following these characters around. This sense of reality, this sense of the film actually feeling like it was made by time travel in 1916 begins in the opening credits with the hauntingly beautiful archival photographs and Morricone's pixie-like score twinkling and humming over the images of the early 20th century, which Linda Manz's face feels straight out of. Her narration, as many lately have been noting, is staggeringly great not only for what she says but how she says it; Malick apparently simply showed her footage and let her narrate and recorded that, but the strength of her narration is its personality, leant by her blunt ramblingness as well as her hilarious natural accent, as well as its philosophic formulation: she usually states hypotheses for what she sees or declarations based on her experiences. Although I've seen it compared to the sociopathic Holly's from Badlands, Manz is not cold, simply aloof and genuinely childish. The narration is street-tough but it's clear that she has emotions, and is genuinely upset watching Abby weep over Bill's body.

Her aloofness translates to the film's elliptical structure as things move in and out of narrative focus, almost Altman-esque in a way. Such as the celebration scene outside at night, with the glorious long shot of the violinist, followed by oblique shots of Bill noting Abby and the Farmer's intimacy; these sections are joyous for that they allow us to partake in the celebration itself; it is aimless but invigorating, and a sure command of naturalism in a way more sociological naturalists rarely have. Renoir and Welles, through The Rules of the Game and The Magnificent Ambersons also struck me as touchstone texts; for the former, it's not simply the vaudeville show that Abby and the Farmer watch but also the ways that Malick fixates on the animals that live amongst the wheat fields, akin to the hunt in Rules. As for Ambersons, the general idea of having a sort of paradise and destroying it, of a cocksure hero, of a woman's sexuality abused and dominated––just the general Lost Eden, although one can easily ignore the comparison and chalk it up to, well, Western civ.

Early in the main thread for the films someone suggested that you can't look at the big picture but most look at the details, although this seems ridiculous given the way in which the big picture of this film is so clearly and thoroughly the idea of paradise lost; two men have Abby and lose her because of their foolishness, the Farmer loses his land and his life in a rage of jealousy. What's so touching about the end of the film, which I've seen some people complain as sort of misplaced, is the ways in which Linda is so sincerely caring about this friend of hers, after a film full of loss––this may be exactly why Malick does show us her friend early on leaving on the train. She is always losing people, but is always making new friends as well. The film is tragic at its core but the framing of through Linda gives it such an air of plucky courage and "that's life" weary optimism that you can leave the film feeling good about life.

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Re: 409 Days of Heaven

#264 Post by whaleallright » Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:51 am

why would you buy a poster that makes Days of Heaven look like Emmanuelle Visits the Texas Panhandle?

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Re: 409 Days of Heaven

#265 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Dec 12, 2020 1:33 pm

It looks like Don Bluth trying his hand at erotic prestige pictures.

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domino harvey
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Re: 409 Days of Heaven

#266 Post by domino harvey » Sat Dec 12, 2020 1:36 pm

Well I definitely wouldn’t recommend either of you go back in time to 4 1/2 years ago to buy it then

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Re: 409 Days of Heaven

#267 Post by whaleallright » Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:16 pm

Bad taste is timeless.

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