Malick and the Art of the Voice-over

A distinctive trait of the films of Terrence Malick is the artful way they employ narration. Sometimes the voice-over is dreamy (Sissy Spacek’s in Badlands), sometimes it’s disarmingly concrete (Linda Manz’s in Days of Heaven), sometimes it comprises audacious, poetic philosophical musings (that of all the soldiers in The Thin Red Line)—but it’s always there, a character in its own right. In this clip from an interview included in our new editions of Badlands, editor Billy Weber describes how the voice-over in Malick’s first film came to be, how it was influenced by Truffaut, and how the collaborators’ process evolved when they worked together again on Days of Heaven.

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