16 December 2014

Trailer Drop: Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups

If there is any American filmmaker more polarizing than Terrence Malick, let me know. You know those bumper stickers where a married couple like two different SEC schools, say one likes Auburn and one likes Bama. They say "House Divided" on them. Well, my wife and I both love Tennessee football. We both love Mexican food. We both love movies.

We are divided on the definition of "movie." My wife seems to think that a movie isn't a movie unless it inherently provides entertainment. I know that a movie is a movie if it is a series of moving images projected onto a white screen.

It is an endless debate. I respect my wife's opinion.

The man who inspired this argument. Yeah. Terrence "effing" Malick. The film: 2011's The Tree of Life. Her one and only experience with Malick. Our fight after our screening was so bad that she has vowed to never see another of his films, even the easier-to-watch early ones (Badlands, Days of Heaven).

Late last night, we watched the trailer for his latest philosophical dreamscape starring Christian Bale known as Knight of Cups. On IMDB, it is written that there was no script. This seems to be a trend with Malick's latest mode of filmmaking. He is literally just letting his mood guide the camera and vice-versa. It doesn't work as well for me as his earlier work, but I like the idea. Like Tree of Life and To the Wonder before it, I am sure to end up seeing a movie that I will most likely not want to watch again, though I know I should.

Here's the trailer. It looks downright gorgeous to me.


  1. Looks stunning, but Malick is one of those directors I feel like needs time to bake his ideas. His recent output has been less than incredible. I loathed To the Wonder, like A LOT. The Tree of Life had great ideas squandered by his own ambition. I miss his earlier output. The Thin Red Line and Badlands are brilliant films...BRILLIANT.

    This looks interesting enough, and beautiful, but I'm kind of growing tired of the way that Malick shoots his films. They're pretty, but they're so alike in almost all of their imagery that they feel like the same film spliced together in different ways. He needs to try something else, cinematography-wise...so that he can excite again.

    And my wife and I sound like your wife and you. She's the same way with regards to films and entertainment. LOL, she's seen two Malick films for the men in them...first The New World for Colin...and she hated it...and then The Tree of Life, for Pitt...and she fell asleep and told me in the morning never to let her watch that crap again.

    I'll see this one alone.

    1. Right on. Seriously, this mode sort of started with The Thin Red Line, which I love as well. I remember Ebert's review of it, he said something like, and I'm paraphrasing, it seemed as if Malick was making one movie and the actors were making another. As visual art goes, Malick is a master. But his latest work is unrelentingly alienating, even to his fans, like me. I just remembered that we watched The New World as well, and, of course, my wife, a history teacher, couldn't get past some of the inaccuracies. It's a battle that can't be won for me and a hill on which I just can't die.

  2. I can't even begin ....