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THE THIN RED LINE

Director: TERRENCE MALICK

170 minutes| U.S.A.| 1998| Colour| Anamorphic| Dolby Digital Stereo| 35mm


Based on a novel by James Jones, this World War Two drama centres on the American mission to free Guadalcanal Island from Japanese occupation. The ferocious battle scenes are the equal of Saving Private Ryan in conveying the chaos and carnage of war; and in a fine cast, Nick Nolte rages mightily as a deranged Colonel seeking glory, whilst, further down the line, a thoughtful antagonism is shared between Sean Penn and Jim Caviezel as cynical pragmatist and religious idealist, respectively. What sets the film apart however, is its extraordinary Nature imagery which, through contrast, implies war as the ultimate violation of life’s possibilities; and also the film’s use of multiple voiceovers whilst conflict rages, as men facing death pose unanswered questions about the meaning of their existence. In short, this is an unmistakeable Terrence Malick movie, his first for 20 years, with a mystical atmosphere and massive assurance that belie the fact he had ever been away.

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