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The Thin Red Line

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Director: Terrence Malick
1998 / 170min / 35mm

After a more than 20-year absence from cinema, Malick came roaring back with this sprawling, lyric adaptation of James Jones’s World War II novel of the same name, which follows an American platoon battling to take Guadalcanal from the entrenched Japanese. Just about every A-list actor in Hollywood showed up for the comeback kid, including Sean Penn, George Clooney, and Nolte as a psychotically gung-ho, spit-spraying Lt. Coll. who locks horns with inferior Elias Koteas. The terror and fury of combat, depicted with the inclusion of voice-over insights into the psychology of soldiers under life-or-death duress, coexists here with images of contemplative remove, placing battlefield violence within the larger context of nature. “If I never meet you in this life, let me feel the lack.”

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