Double feature: A time-bound, “greaser” version of modernity (jukeboxes, voluptuously curved cars, denim) and the timelessness of the natural world (bending saltgrass, sloping hills) swirl around each other in “Badlands” and “Au hasard Balthazar.”
Verbal and behavioral obliqueness characterize both films. Each maintains an intentional mismatch between the surface and the true import of its narrative. Each introduces an attachment, seemingly based on nothing more than distinction of attention (and possibly the desire for escape,) without further explicating its connective dynamics.
Something of the donkey in “Au hasard Balthazar” lives again in “Le Quattro Volte”’s lost goat, which has similar points to make about man’s relationship to animals.
(Creative Commons licensed original images courtesy of “jkirkhart35” and “emmadiscovery” at Flickr)