terrance malick

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Music Complements: “To The Wonder”

I’m introducing a new music feature on this blog where I sort of create my own soundtrack for different movies I have watched recently. I came up with the idea a couple of days ago when I was listening to some of my favorite songs on my iPod and it reminded me are certain dramatic situations I have seen play out on the big screen or perfectly described a character’s motivations, feelings, or desires. So in my first edition of ‘Music Complements’, I present some songs that came to mind when I took a look back on my experience watching Terrance Malick’s To The Wonder.

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"To The Wonder"

[After visiting Mont Saint-Michel, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Marina meets a priest and fellow exile, who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane.]

In my world, Terrance Malick is infamous. I hadn’t seen any of his films before seeing Tree of Life (which I didn’t particularly like and thought to be pretentious cutting-room floor material posing as a grandiose work of existentialism). Now that he is one of the most talked about filmmakers in the last year or so (maybe for all the wrong reasons), I’m so intrigued to see what he comes out with next. After Tree of Life, it was said that he was coming out of his self-inflicting exile and working on three films all at once. Can’t believe I’m saying this but my curiosity is peaked. Now that the first trailer for To The Wonder is here, I may become a Malick fan yet. Yes, it looks quite similar (the first shot in the trailer is of a tree! Admittedly, I was scared) but for some reason, the slant on romance is getting to me. It also benefits from great trailer narration (there goes that brilliant Javier Bardem, again). Judge of yourself though. Am I the only one that thinks this movie probably only had two pages of dialogue? I’m just hoping there isn’t a 20 minute montage of how human kind developed feelings for one another spliced into the middle of the movie. 

On the Radar: More Films from Terrance Malick

I have to admit that I never heard of Terrance Malick before The Tree of Life, which I still have mixed feelings about.  I never saw The New World or The Thin Red Line and (surprisingly) never heard of the whole public debacle between him and Adrian Brody. One thing is for sure though, the man goes for grandiosity. He is now (probably permanently) on my radar, and since he is skipping the long hiatuses between films he is known for and coming out with three, count ‘em three, new films, he probably will remain there. Here are some details of his upcoming projects. In what seems to be true Malick style, no one know much in terms of plot details, but there is enough to peak curiosity. Terrance Malick fans rejoice, Terrance Malick haters beware:

Untitled Terrance Malick Project (2012)
Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, Javier Bardem

SynopsisA romantic drama (Ben Affleck) centered on a man who rekindles an old love affair with a woman from his hometown (Rachel McAdams) after his marriage to a European woman dissolves.

My Initial Reaction: A good one. I think this is a good cast for the plot of the film. I am really curious to see the on screen chemistry between McAdams and Affleck, how Malick presents the American vs. European landscape, and what internal struggles the main characters have to color the tone of the film.

[Two simultaneous film projects with overlapping casts and primary shooting location in Austin, TX. Talk about ambition! The projects were first announced to be unconnected narratives but I guess there is always potential for an interesting cross-over with the characters. This is presented in their order of shooting and probably theatrical release:]

Knight of Cups (2013)
Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman

SynopsisA man is in search of love and truth.

My Initial Reaction: Not sure since the details are scarce. I would never have considered a convergence between the intensity of Bale and the often sweeping majesty I have heard about in alot of Malick’s films, but hey, I’ll be interested to hear more about this.

Lawless (2013) 
Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman

Synopsis: Two intersecting love triangles, a story of sexual obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, TX. 

My Initial Reaction: Seeing that ubber-talented Ryan Gosling picked this movie to do, I don’t see why I wouldn’t want to see it. The mysterious combo of Gosling and Mara is intriguing, and my money is on Portman being the go between of the Gosling-Mara, Bale-Blanchett relationships. Can’t say I have ever been to Austin (though I hope to attend SxSW next year) so I am interested in the whole amazing music scene of Austin I have heard so much about and how that will play into the narrative.