Understanding the Movie “Badlands”

The movie director and screenwriter Terrence Malick is known to be one of the most famous and prominent American movie maker who has already done numerous films that are all seen to be an exemplar of a movie that is superbly produced through a keen and artistic point of view. As a movie maker, Terrence Malick is also known for his profound use of meaningful camera shots and angles in most of his masterpieces. Thus, the movie Badlands is a movie of his masterpiece which is filled with his own unique usage of camera shots.

In the movie, Malick has utilized the three major camera shots. Throughout the movie it is seen evident that Terrence Malick uses the wide camera shot to establish the movements of characters and visually depicts the specific setting in every scene. For instance, as early as the beginning of the film, Malick utilizes wide shots to draw a picture of a peaceful town and follow the movement of an upcoming garbage truck collecting trash.

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Thus, in the entire movie, the main purpose of the wide camera shot is to evidently determine the movements of the characters and show a glimpse of the setting where a specific scene is going to happen. Likewise, it aims to draw the real beauty of nature. In addition to this, wide shots in the movie are also used to capture all the significant characters in every scene. Medium camera shots, on the other hand, are often used to provide a closer look on the gesture and/or the body language of the character without eliminating a clear picture of the setting and with what is happening in the background.
For example, medium shots in the movie are often used among the situation where the main characters are conversing with each other like in the scenes where Kit and Holly are interacting in the car, forest and in the deserts where the events in the movie happened. As for the close-up camera shot, its primary use is seen to be the most prominent throughout the film. Malick uses this in rendering details and clarity to the movements of characters and in providing the needed emotions or feelings in every scene by means of capturing the facial expression of the artists.
For instance, in the specific scene where Kit confronted Holly’s father in the desert while doing his painting job, the close-up shot of Holly’s father primarily sets the emotion and the intensity through his face for that specific scene and at the same time draws a clear detail with what he is doing with the painting. In the end, Terrence Malick also seems to have been very well open in utilizing various movements and transitions of the camera and respective shots to be able to follow and clearly depict the movements of the characters as required in every scene in order to show a clear shot of what is happening in each specific scene.
Nonetheless, Malick, in his movie Badlands, also utilizes extensive application of off-screen narration by his characters where Holly narrates her feelings and own point of views without her direct visual illustration while narrating. Rather, it is equipped with random footages of her and Kit and specific memories she has in the past. Work Cited Lee, Hwanhee. Senses of Cinema – Terrence Malick. 24 February 2009 <http://archive. sensesofcinema. com/contents/directors/02/malick. html>


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