Each week we’re recommending a movie from film lover’s favorite home video company, Criterion. The Criterion Collection is dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions of the highest technical quality with supplemental features that enhance the appreciation of the art of film. This week, Badlands.
Badlands announced the arrival of a major talent: Terrence Malick. His impressionistic take on the notorious Charles Starkweather 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 and Sissy Spacek. The film 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 equaled its strange sublimity.
- 94 minutes
- Spine #651
- Restored 4K digital transfer, approved by director Terrence Malick, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Making “Badlands,” a 2012 documentary featuring actors Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek and art director Jack Fisk
- Interviews from 2012 with associate editor Billy Weber and executive producer Edward Pressman
- “Charles Starkweather,” a 1993 episode of the television program American Justice, about the real-life story on which the film was loosely based
- English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing