Old Hollywood
Cinema
1900-1979

Nostalgia is a seductive liar - George Wildman Ball
Sissy Spacek in Badlands (1973, dir. Terrence Malick)
"The day was quiet and serene but I didn’t notice, for I was deep in  thought, and not even thinking about how to slip off. The world was like  a faraway planet to which I could never return. I thought what a fine  place it was, full of things that people can look into and enjoy."

Sissy Spacek in Badlands (1973, dir. Terrence Malick)

"The day was quiet and serene but I didn’t notice, for I was deep in thought, and not even thinking about how to slip off. The world was like a faraway planet to which I could never return. I thought what a fine place it was, full of things that people can look into and enjoy."

Badlands (1973, dir. Terrence Malick)
"Kit made me get my books from school, so I wouldn’t fall        behind. We’d be starting a new life, he said. And we’d have to change our        names. His would be James. Mine would be Priscilla. We’d hide out like spies,        somewhere in the North, where people didn’t ask a lot of questions. I could        of snuck out the back or hid in the boiler room, I suppose, but I sensed        that my destiny now lay with Kit, for better or for worse, and it was better        to spend a week with one who loved me for what I was than years of loneliness."

Badlands (1973, dir. Terrence Malick)

"Kit made me get my books from school, so I wouldn’t fall behind. We’d be starting a new life, he said. And we’d have to change our names. His would be James. Mine would be Priscilla. We’d hide out like spies, somewhere in the North, where people didn’t ask a lot of questions. I could of snuck out the back or hid in the boiler room, I suppose, but I sensed that my destiny now lay with Kit, for better or for worse, and it was better to spend a week with one who loved me for what I was than years of loneliness."

Sissy Spacek in Badlands (1973, dir. Terrence Malick)

Sissy Spacek in Badlands (1973, dir. Terrence Malick)

Days of Heaven (1978, dir. Terrence Malick)
"At Malick’s insistence certain parts of the film were made at what he calls the ‘magic hour’, that is, the time between sunset and nightfall. From the point of view of luminosity, this period lasts about twenty minutes, so that calling it a ‘magic hour’ is an optimistic euphemism. 
The light really was very beautiful, but we had little time to film scenes of long duration. All day we would work to get the actors and the camera ready; as soon as the sun had set we had to shoot quickly, not losing a moment. For these few minutes the light is truly magical, because no one knows where it is coming from. The sun is not to be seen, but the sky can be bright, and the blue of the atmosphere undergoes strange mutations.
 Malick’s intuition and daring probably made these scenes the most interesting ones visually in the film. And it takes daring to convince the Hollywood old guard that the shooting day should last only twenty minutes. Even though we took advantage of this short space of time with a kind of frenzy, we often had to finish the scene the next day at the same time, because night would fall inexorably. Each day, like Joshua in the Bible, Malick wanted to stop the sun in its imperturbable course so as to go on shooting.” 
-excerpted from A Man with a Camera, the autobiography of Days of Heaven cinematographer Néstor Almendros

Days of Heaven (1978, dir. Terrence Malick)

"At Malick’s insistence certain parts of the film were made at what he calls the ‘magic hour’, that is, the time between sunset and nightfall. From the point of view of luminosity, this period lasts about twenty minutes, so that calling it a ‘magic hour’ is an optimistic euphemism.

The light really was very beautiful, but we had little time to film scenes of long duration. All day we would work to get the actors and the camera ready; as soon as the sun had set we had to shoot quickly, not losing a moment. For these few minutes the light is truly magical, because no one knows where it is coming from. The sun is not to be seen, but the sky can be bright, and the blue of the atmosphere undergoes strange mutations.

Malick’s intuition and daring probably made these scenes the most interesting ones visually in the film. And it takes daring to convince the Hollywood old guard that the shooting day should last only twenty minutes. Even though we took advantage of this short space of time with a kind of frenzy, we often had to finish the scene the next day at the same time, because night would fall inexorably. Each day, like Joshua in the Bible, Malick wanted to stop the sun in its imperturbable course so as to go on shooting.” 

-excerpted from A Man with a Camera, the autobiography of Days of Heaven cinematographer Néstor Almendros

Sissy Spacek & Martin Sheen on the set of Badlands (1973, dir. Terrence Malick)
Sheen: “One night I got a call saying that [Malick] decided to use me and would I be willing to do it. And I said, ‘Why sure, I’d be happy as Larry’. [The next morning], I was driving along Pacific Coast Highway and I was listening to a Dylan song called Desolation Row..and suddenly it dawned on me what had just happened - that I had the role of my life. And I began to weep uncontrollably with joy and I had to pull off the side of the road and just stop and reflect on what was happening. And it was one of the most profound moments of my life because it was the realization of a dream that I never thought would happen to me.”
Spacek:”It was a very passionate kind of working experience. No one was making any money and everyone was there because we were desperate to work on the film…It was probably the first film that I felt creatively engaged in. Terry would ask me questions about the character. I felt like I wasn’t just an actor for hire…After working with Terry, I was like, ‘The artist rules. Nothing else matters.’ My career would have been very different if I hadn’t had that experience.”
(via)

Sissy Spacek & Martin Sheen on the set of Badlands (1973, dir. Terrence Malick)

Sheen: “One night I got a call saying that [Malick] decided to use me and would I be willing to do it. And I said, ‘Why sure, I’d be happy as Larry’. [The next morning], I was driving along Pacific Coast Highway and I was listening to a Dylan song called Desolation Row..and suddenly it dawned on me what had just happened - that I had the role of my life. And I began to weep uncontrollably with joy and I had to pull off the side of the road and just stop and reflect on what was happening. And it was one of the most profound moments of my life because it was the realization of a dream that I never thought would happen to me.”

Spacek:”It was a very passionate kind of working experience. No one was making any money and everyone was there because we were desperate to work on the film…It was probably the first film that I felt creatively engaged in. Terry would ask me questions about the character. I felt like I wasn’t just an actor for hire…After working with Terry, I was like, ‘The artist rules. Nothing else matters.’ My career would have been very different if I hadn’t had that experience.”

(via)