“Badlands”: Terrence Malick’s Debut Masterpiece

Terrence Malick has a well-deserved reputation as the J.D. Salinger of film, a genius recluse who produces art on his timetable alone. His first picture, Badlands (1973), had a notoriously awful production that included most of the crew quitting and the special effects guy getting badly burned. Malick shot enough film for five movies. But the actors, including stars Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek, swear that the quiet, meditative director is the best they ever worked under. Their faith was rewarded as Badlands debuted to rave reviews as the opening film of the New York Film Festival. Described as a timeless, European-style film that showed the humanity and raw ambition of its murderous lovers, the movie established Malick as an original voice in American cinema.

Badlands: An Oral History

GQ.com, 5.26.11

“West Wing”: Aaron Sorkin’s White House Masterpiece

Before West Wing the TV industry’s conventional thinking was that political dramas didn’t work. 26 Emmy’s later that adage was long forgotten. Aaron Sorkin’s smart dialogue, Martin Sheen’s President Josiah Bartlet, and a top-quality supporting cast including Allison Janney and Rob Lowe, all combined to create a riveting (if idealized) portrait of a White House team working tirelessly to keep the ball moving forward. Empire provides a beautiful five-part retrospective full of images, sidebars, and video clips.

The Definitive History of “The West Wing”

Empire.com, 10.3.14