A lot of my journalism isn't on the Internet, but when people write to ask me for a copy of an article, it's never, say, when I took the Beastie Boys to Graceland. No, what they clamor for-- still -- is a piece I did 25 years ago, that by now has become my equivalent of a defining first hit single that a band never recovers from. But -- as I often tell actors who bemoan being identified with one role -- it's better to have one of those than none, right?
It's a piece I'm proud of -- the 24-year-old me spent six months reporting it, for pittance pay, for a magzine that few read. The reason for its legend is the subject: visionary, esoteric director Terrence Malick, who at the time hadn't made a movie in the seven years since his previous movie, Days of Heaven, a gorgeous big-screen fable which itself was seven years after his peerless low-budget debut, Badlands, a fictionalized version of Charles Starkweather's killing spree -- and had stopped giving interviews even earlier.
|Malick's of-necessity cameo in Badlands as a man who |
stumbles on the killing spree. He's never acted before or since.
|One school year I screened 146 movies here.|