Days of Heaven perfectly encapsulates the distinction between story and plot that’s left generations of screenwriting newbies (myself included) scratching their heads. The plot is for suitable an early 20th-century beach read-- a vagabond urges his girlfriend to marry a wealthy farmer so they can inherit his wealth after his passing, resulting in a thorny love triangle. The story, however, draws its preoccupations from the Old Testament- original sin, heaven, hell, betrayal, banishment. Using only image and sound, it reaches heavenly heights and sinks to hellish depths, suggesting the presence of both in the apathetic yet expressive natural world.
I'd love to hear what you have to say.