Badlands (1974)

Directed by Terrence Malick

An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.

Holly’s father […] is seen painting a billboard in the middle of an empty field. A panel is missing, through which you can see the blue sky beyond. It’s an optical illusion: a hole has fallen out of the world. It is in that hole, in a free-fall through the empty blue, that Kit and Holly dance.

Sheila O’Malley (Criterion)


We meet [Kit] as he’s about to be fired from his job collecting trash, but he spends the rest of the movie on a virtual junk treasure hunt, inspecting, acquiring, and discarding various nonessential items displayed in the homes of other people. [And] it’s not insignificant that Holly’s disapproving father is a sign painter, a man who traffics in the bright promises of consumer culture—promises that may be empty but, in Kit’s mind, are never quite invalidated.

Michael Almereyda (Criterion)