Days of Heaven

Days of Heaven - Days of Heaven(1978 Modes of...

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Days of Heaven ( 1978 ) Modes of Representation: Realism and Formalism Crew: Director: Terrence Malick • Written by Terrence Malick • Produced by Bert and Harold Schneider • Cinematography: Nestor Almendros • Edited by Billy Weber • Production Designer: • Art Direction: Jack Fisk • Set Decoration: Robert Gould • Original Music by Ennio Morricone • Costume Design: Patricia Norris • Casting by Dianne Crittenden • Special Effects by: Mel Merrells and John Thomas • Paramount Pictures Cast: Richard Gere (Bill) • Brooke Adams (Abby) • Sam Shepard (The Farmer) • Linda Manz (Linda) • Robert Wilke (The Farm Foreman) • Jackie Shultis (Linda’s Friend) • Stuart Margolin (Mill Foreman) • Timothy Scott (Harvest Hand) Running time 94 minutes Days of Heaven is an evocative film about the loss of innocence in the US before we entered the first world war. Set in the wheat fields of the Texas panhandle in 1916, the story centers on three migrant workers and their tragic relationship with a wealthy young land baron (Sam Shepard). After smashing a foreman to the ground in the steel mills of Chicago, Bill (Richard Gere) packs his sister Linda (Linda Manz) and his lover Abby (Brooke Adams) onto a train full of itinerant workers headed for the agricultural heartland of the country. There, they find employment harvesting wheat, and the film slowly takes on epic, if not biblical, proportions as the shy land baron falls in love with Abby, and Bill convinces her to marry the dying millionaire. From its first images, the film suggests that it should be read as a realist parable. In keeping with its epic scope, the film is presented in 70-millimeter Panavision and Dolby Stereo, with a masterly score written and conducted by Ennio Morricone. 1 The title sequence intercuts period photographs by Lewis Hine with modern re-creations by Edie Baskins, anticipating a documentary-like authenticity. This documentary feel extends to the harvest work scenes and images of industrial machinery belching and threshing as the workers reap the wheat. And while at these points, the film might seem to cohere to the dictates of Documentary Realism, it soon becomes clear that the film is a much more formalist exercise. 1 Who also produced the scores for The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966), A Fistful of Dollars (1964), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and 1900 (1976)
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As such, Days of Heaven can be categorized as an example of Expressive Stylization. This style, which arose in the 1960s and ‘70s, makes one very aware of film technique through formal experimentations and self-reflexivity. Sometimes, as in Days of Heaven
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Days of Heaven - Days of Heaven(1978 Modes of...

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