I was into this. I don’t know I just love movies from the 70s, man! That was an aesthetically terrible decade for clothing, interiors, design in general, but for cinema? Banging. Objectively their filmic craft is not always operating at excellent levels, keyly in scene transitions, and yet, as a piece, they just work. MOVIES.
Mostly though I did spend this whole thing fixated on the score and how I could somehow already know it. Wikipedia is telling me that the part I knew was heavily referencing the ‘Aquarium’ movement from Camille Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals suite. Wikipedia is not telling me that Alan Menken’s ‘Prologue’ in his Beauty & the Beast score is also referencing this, and that if A = B, and B = C, then the Days of Heaven theme is the Beauty & the Beast theme, but it is, isn’t it? I’ve had too much mezcal (smokey appropriateness!) but, isn’t it?? I mean not as much as how the ‘My Tamako’ theme from The Handmaiden is the Downton Abbey theme (ENTIRELY), but it is so so similar! The music was so beautiful! God! And the cinnamontography of those wheat fields? Fuck me up.
Though—Richard Gere feels fundamentally out of place in the 1910s, I never accepted it. His hair is so fluffy, his face so….post-1950s. Richard Gere you look askew. What is that anyway? Where people’s faces just don’t align with certain times? Incongruous. Richard Gere in this looks like a Tibetan fox dropped into the Panhandle. Like I see what they were going for, but wrong grassland environ for you, bud.
But I like a tone poem very much. I also like a movie that gets surprisingly well on the way to polyamory. I mean it was…the Seventies. But when one party hasn’t agreed to this, then that is just an affair. A like, reverse affair? Hey it was interesting! So was the use of narration. I liked the little sister’s odd film noir VO (film sepia?), but it also made me grieve for her lack of education. Imagine what she could do with her word choice instincts if she had more words to choose from.
Anyway, this is one hour and a half and every scene is good to look at. It’s a movie you can just feel and not really have to think about. Sometimes I wonder why people consider action movies the mindless ones, when impressionist movies like this deliberately invite you to just slip into neutral and drift along with it for a spell.