Eat Your Vegetables: "Badlands" (Malick, 1973)

Each week in Eat Your Vegetables, Jonathan Sircy shares the benefit and appeal of some of the culture’s more inaccessible or intimidating artifacts.Cultural Vegetable of the Week: Badlands (1973; Terrence Malick) Nutritional Value: The danger of overrating introspectionBadlands (1973) begins by starkly contrasting Holly (Sissy Spacek) and Kit (Martin Sheen), whose love affair occupies the center of the film. When we first meet Holly, she’s petting a large dog on her bed. The first time we see … [Read more...]

"Nostalgia for the Absolute" in Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life"

It is a sign of our deep-seated discontentment that we are often an envious, jealous, and anxious people. Yet, these discontented desires also signal a great truth about the human condition: we have a deep-seated desire for our lives to be fulfilling and meaningful. We gain a certain satisfaction for a time or place in our lives when things seem to make sense, or, when our lives seem to be as they ought to be. Hence, we use the term “nostalgia” in reference to the power of memory and the desire f … [Read more...]