Terrence Malick, the humble genius is at it again
If you’ve got a halfway decent taste in movies, then the name Terrence Malick will ring a bell. It’s not one of those super-busy actors who make a popcorn movie every other year. He’s more like Thomas Pynchon, lives in seclusion, makes a hit every once in a while, and dives out again. But look at this man’s filmography and one might of course wish he was more busy. Here’s a link to an article at the New York Times about him.
Terence Malick‘s Tree of Life will hit theaters sometime next May, is about “a Midwestern family in the 1950′s chronicling the journey of the eldest son, Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn), through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years – trying to reconcile the complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith.” (Rama’s Screen) And rumor has it, he’s working on his next project, The Burial, with the hot Olga Kurylenko.
But let’s take a quick look down the cinematic memory lane. And we’ll retell his filmography briefly, in pictures. So you lazy people don’t have to read so much. The picture above is of course from his (on DVD later revised) epic about the conquest of the new world, retelling the Pocahontas story, in The New World, which is visually dazzling but too sleep-inducing for some. (Amazon.com)
The Thin Red Line was Malick’s triumphant return after a long hiatus, and it was instantly nominated for the Oscar, but lost to the other big anti-war movie at the time, Saving Private Ryan. The movie is an epic masterpiece, of beauty and message. Full of stars, most appearances ended up mere cameos on the editing room floor. A movie so good they named a color after it. At the same time, it wipes the floor with The Pacific, the lame-ass attempt at topping Band of Brothers with more violence and more racism. Most amazingly, The Thin Red line is now available on Criterion, making it the second Malick movie to appear on the over-priced special label to date, even though deleted scenes are unfortunately absent from the release. (Amazon.com)
Days of Heaven, by now available on a gorgeous Criterion BluRay, is a masterpiece in his own ball park. The gorgeous imagery and the overwhelming story make for one of the most memorable movie-watching experiences. Suggested second movie for a double feature: Heaven’s Gate or There Will Be Blood. (Amazon.com)
With Badlands, Malick burst on the screen, creating an instant classic in American cinema. The young Martin Sheen is an unforgettable performance on screen, in a movie that is both daring and beautiful. (Amazon.com)
If you, like me, have only seen about half or less of his impressive filmography (Amazon.com), then it’s about fucking time my friends. There aren’t many filmmakers like him who take a cinematic baseball bat and smash your brain with it the way he does. His movies are close to flawless visual altars of cinema, go do a Terrence Malick marathon, right now!