Badlands (Criterion Collection)
Terrence Malick’s exquisite first film, in a new digital restoration. Badlands announced the arrival of a major talent: Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven). His impressionistic take on the notorious Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate killing spree of the late 1950s uses a serial-killer narrative as a springboard for an oblique teenage romance, lovingly and idiosyncratically enacted by Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now) and Sissy Spacek (Carrie). The film also introduced many of the elements that would earn Malick his passionate following: the enigmatic approach to narrative and character, the unusual use of voice-over, the juxtaposition of human violence with natural beauty, the poetic investigation of American dreams and nightmares. This debut has spawned countless imitations, but none have equalled its strange sublimity.