Capital Celluloid - Day 181: Saturday July 2

The Thin Red Line (Malick, 1998): Ritzy Cinema 8.30pm

The place to be this weekend is the Ritzy in Brixton where film buffs can catch up on Terrence Malick's work so far prior to the long-awaited release of his Cannes Festival Palme d'Or winner The Tree of Life in the UK on July 15.

The Tree of Life has divided critics just as much as The New World and The Thin Red Line. On Monday night on Radio 3 critic Nigel Floyd, who is on record as saying he has liked none of Malick's work since Days of Heaven, will discuss The Tree of Life with the director of Senna, Asif Kapadia. The debate will take place on the programme Night Waves (details via this link).

The Thin Red Line confused Jonathan Romney so much when he was the Guardian's chief film critic that he said he wasn't sure whether it was worth one star or five so he put a row of question marks at the top of his review which you can read in full here.

Here is the Chicago Reader review:

'There's less sense of period here and more feeling for terrain than in any other World War II movie that comes to mind. Terrence Malick's strongest suits in his two previous features, Badlands (1973) and Days of Heaven (1978)—a painterly sense of composition and a bold and original use of offscreen narration—are enhanced here, first by a successful wedding of ecology and narrative (which never quite happened in Days of Heaven) and second by the notion of a collective hero, which permits the internal monologues of many characters in turn. I haven't read the James Jones novel this is based on,  which some feel is his best, but Malick clearly is distancing the material philosophically and poetically, muting the drama periodically and turning it into reverie. This may have its occasional dull stretches, but in contrast to Saving Private Ryan it's the work of a grown-up with something to say about the meaning and consequences of war. The fine cast includes Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, Jim Caviezel, Ben Chaplin, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Elias Koteas, Nick Nolte, John C. Reilly, and, in tiny parts, John Travolta and George Clooney.' Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here is the trailer.

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