I don't know why I kept hesitating and delaying my viewing of Terrence Malick's "Knight of Cups," I had heard about the advanced buzz and I already didn't like his last film, "To The Wonder," which felt like a rehash and half assed imitation of his prior, more creatively inspiring work. Suffice to say that I did end up watching Knight Of Cups recently and it wasn't very good. I really hate to ask this question, but has he lost it?
"Knight of Cups" and "To The Wonder" were, as mentioned, a pale imitation of the his older, more succesful films (The Tree of Life). These are films that never really find their footing and are stale for most of its running time. Malick's shtick seems to be a) shoot with no script b) improvise as you go along c) contemplate life's deepest questions with wide lensed shots courtesy of Emmanuel Lubezski. A predictable, crying shame if you ask me, this comes to us from an auteur that took a lifetime to follow up 1978's "Days Of Heaven," more precisely twenty years. Now he's released 4 films in the past ten years - has his iconic status diminished because of the productivity and the fact that now we don't really see him as this perfect director anymore? I don't think it's as simple as that, but if this continues it'll be his demise. He already wrapped up shooting "Radegund" a World War II film which is rumored as a possible Cannes title.
Malick is such a mysterious man, I've heard stories about him showing up at Cannes during the premiere of "Tree of Life" and just sitting in the back incognito. He is supposedly shy, socially awkward, not really a publicly open kind of man. I know Malick had a small, almost invisible cameo in "Badlands." I don't think I've ever heard him speak to tell you the truth. His whereabouts unknown in the "making of" docs of his feature films. That's fine, I understand that, but what made him decide to finally appear at South By Southwest for the premiere of his new film "Song to Song." The man can't possibly be doing this? or is he really going through with it? Well, we have video proof that it did happen. Richard Linklater was moderating and Michael Fassbender, lead of "Song to Song" was onstage as well.
Some awkward moments here and there where they just don't have anything to say, mostly due to Malick's shyness, but it does hold up and, somewhat, gel. A fascinating document of what will is a unique moment in cinematic history.
I have already written a review of "Voyage of Time" his latest film, a doc about the beginning, middle and end of time. I dug it for the most part. Review should get posted in the coming week. I'll be comparing the differences between the 45 minute Brad Pitt narrated IMAX version and the 90 minute Cate Blanchett narrated feature-length version
As for "Song to Song," well, the reviews are mixed: