In the trailer for Terrence Malick’s long-awaited, century-spanning film Voyage of Time, Cate Blanchett’s gentle-yet-stern narration guides us through the unfolding of the world, from the first single-cell organisms to the glittering structures of expansive human cityscapes.
The 90 minute Voyage of Time will premiere at the Venice Film Festival, while a 40 minute version of the movie, narrated by Brad Pitt, will premiere in IMAX’s across the country October 7. The trailer for Pitt’s huskier, more baritone take on time can be watched below.
According to Vulture, Voyage of Time has been in production for a staggering 30 years, and is intended as a sort of companion piece to The Tree of Life, without any of the confusing plot lines. We’ll be the judge of that.
When Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life landed upon us in 2011, it was as divisive for some as it was revelatory for others. Not everyone could swallow the spiritually swayed narrative, let alone the diversion into the creation of the universe and dinosaurs. But make no doubt about it: No filmmaker has been emulated more in the last five years.
Magic hour and light flares have gone mainstream, with the fluid romanticism of Malick’s gaze and regular cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s eye a genre of its own, to the point that Beyoncé’s Lemonade is being described as “Malickian.” Though his subsequent narratives—To the Wonder, Knight of Cups—have failed to feed his fans quite like The Tree of Life, excitement surrounding the forthcoming IMAX release of his 30-years-in-the-making Voyage of Time—a documentary companion piece that will go back to the beginning of time and into our eventual demise—is sure to reach fever pitch by the time it’s released on October 7.
The film’s synopsis touts being a “celebration of the earth” that suggests a dance between the life-death and micro-macro nature of all things. Tree of Life star Brad Pitt narrates the condensed IMAX version, while Knight of Cups collaborator Cate Blanchett will lend her voice to the 35mm feature. Until an official trailer is released, feast your eyes on some of Malick’s most Malickian moments:
With the 87th Academy Awards commencing this Sunday, we’re reminded that artistic merit does not always mean taking home a gold statue. Simply because a film wins the award of Hollywood’s elite, does not be that it creatively surpasses its contemporaries. And just because a film goes unrecognized by the Academy, the lack of appreciation in that regard says little to what it deserves. This year, director Ava DuVernay went sans nomination for Selma, but over the course of cinematic history, few categories have caused as much of a stir as Best Director. From Stanley Kubrick and Wim Wenders to Ingmar Bergman and David Lynch, some of the last century’s most brilliant artists have failed to move past a nomination, if even given that—which, of course, speaks namely to the politics of Hollywood and not to their respective genius. So, to get you thinking about who will find themselves with arms full of gold on Sunday, here are some of film’s most beloved and talented directors who’ve never garnered the coveted Academy Award for Best Director.
Cinematic Obsessions: CasualVoyeurism, Everyday Detectives, Seedy Underbelly’s Lurking Behind Pleasant Facades, What’s Hiding Behind the Red Curtains, Flesh on Flesh, 1950s Music and Ephemera, Psycho-Erotic Discomfort, Multiple Personalities, Saccharine Indulgences, Trout, Coffee, The Mysteries of Love, The Secret of Night Best Director Nominations:Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, Elephant Man Best Films: Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart
Cinematic Obsessions: Man versus Technology, Man versus Himself, The Theatrics of Violence, Psychological Journeys Through the Use of Color, Meticulous Planning and Shooting, Psychosexual Aggression Best Director: Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove or: How Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 2001: A Space Odyssey Best Films: A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove or: How Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Eyes Wide Shut, The Shining
Cinematic Obsessions: Dramatic Musical Cues, Languid and Beauitful Slow-Motion Shots, Wresting Weary Heads on Shoulders in the Back of Taxis, Endless Romantic Yearning, Food, Lonesome Cigarette Smoking, Deep and Impressionist Use of Color, The Torture of Love, Heartbreaking Matters of Timing Best Director Nominations: None Best Films: In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express, 2046
Cinematic Obsessions: The Great American West, Existential Romantic Longing, The Barriers of Human Connection, Transient Spaces, Child/Parent Dynamics, The Psycholoigcal Effects of Neon, Spirituality and a Nostalgic Longing for an Absent Something, Emotional Isolation Best Director Nominations: None Best Films:Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire, Alice in the Cities, Pina
Cinematic Obsessions: Exposed Realism, Psycho-Dramatic Character Studies, New York City Streets, Manicly Delivered Male Monologues, Exposure of Social/Societial Injustice/Disorder Best Director Nominations:The Verdict, Network, Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men Best Films: Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Serpico, 12 Angry Men
Cinematic Obsessions: Existential Questioning of Faith and Mortality, Female Sexuality and Desire, Looming Presence of Death, Moral Quandries and Crisis, Psychological Horror Best Director Nominations: Fanny and Alexander, Autumn Sonata, Face to Face, Cries & Whispers, Through a Glass Darkly, Wild Strawberries Best Films: Persona, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Cries & Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage, Winter Light
Cinematic obsessions: Wheat fields Gently Blowing in the Wind at Magic Hour, Sweeping Philosophical Voiceovers, The Confounding Nature of Existence, The Evils of Man, The Divine Presence in Everyday Life, Examining Humility and Grace Through Love, Man’s Existence with Nature Through Time, Redemption and Forgiveness Best Director Nominations: The Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line Best Films: Days of Heaven, Badlands, The Tree of Life
Cinematic Obsessions: Rotating Character Studies, Emphasis of Atmosphere and Personalities Over Narrative Structure, Improvisation of Script, Multiple Plotlines, Intersection of Worlds, Music as a Driving Force Best Director Nominations:Gosford Park, Short Cuts, Nashville, MASH, The Player Best Films: 3 Women, The Long Goodbye, Nashville, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, MASH, Gosford Park
Cinematic Obsessions: The Psyche of Men, Matters of the Heart, The Struggle and Pain of Human Relationships, Alcohol, Volatility of Emotion, Expression of the Artistic Self, Characterization, Raw Performance, Love Best Director Nominations:A Woman Under the Influence Best Films: A Woman Under the Influence, Opening Night, Faces, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
Cinematic Obsessions: Surrealist Imagery, Exposure of Cinematic Experimentation, Bourgeois Dinner Parties That Never Go As Planned, Satiristic Comedies of Fantasy, Criticism of Morals and Religion, Mocking of the Church, Nonsynchronous Music Nominations for Best Director:The Obscure Object of Desire, The Discreet Charm of the Boregeoisie Best Films: The Exterminating Angel, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeois, Un Chien Andalou, Belle Du Jour
Cinematic obsessions: The Audience as a Voyeur, The Charms of Sociopathy, A Little Murder After Supper, Mommy Complexes, The Relationship Between Sex and Death Nominations for Best Director:Psycho, Rear Window, Spellbound, Lifeboat, Rebecca Best Films: Spellbound, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Rebecca, Psycho
“Nostalgia is a powerful feeling; it can drown out anything,” said enigmatic and confounding filmmaker Terrence Malick. And whether he’s revealing the story of murderous young lovers on a spree or the harrowing nature of war, that sense of nostalgia seeps through all of his films, as they live inside the cinema of memory, of emotional impressions left when we close our eyes and remember.
There’s a poetic wisdom and ineffable beauty throughout his work, from Days of Heaven to The Thin Red Line and To the Wonder, that exists in flashes of ethereal moments—but even in his sparse dialogue (whether it’s the concise and affected narration of Badlands or the philosophical meditations of The Tree of Life) speaks volumes to the human condition and cuts straight to the heart. The way Malick directs the camera’s sly movements allows our eye to weave through the emotion trails of his characters like a spirit, exposing the basic human desires and the challenges of connecting with the nature around us—all framed in a physical world that heightens the mundane reality of our surrounds into a majestic setting.
Terry smiles and I jump, twirl, run, and jump again. He claps, “More, more, more, like a rabbit!” But then the Wonder suddenly goes missing. I scream and run into the house—throwing things, breaking things. It rains pretzels and cereal and there are more screams, but now they’re not mine, they’re Neil’s (Ben Affleck), and I’m laughing wildly and crying—my Marina is hysterical, unstable. I collapse on the floor and I wipe my tears from his shoes and kiss them.I ask, “Why do I do this? I want to be good, so good, but sometimes I suddenly feel possessed.” And I beg forgiveness.
I receive pages every morning, sometimes ten, sometimes more. They’re not exactly a script—whether one exists or not is a complete mystery—but the words are (excuse my poeticism) rather like a breakfast for the soul. And every morning it’s a feast! If I digest the sense of what the pages contain, the nature of Terry’s words will shine through my eyes while we’re filming, and I won’t even need to speak. Every sentence is filled with such deep knowledge of the soul. They force me to think and reflect on my own life, to ask myself questions. Reading Terry’s words makes me realize I’m spending so much precious time on such unnecessary things. (“Why do we often look the wrong way?”) Wonderful pages. I’d like to cover my walls with them. Instead, I’m instructed to burn them.
As secretive as he is completely inside his own cinematic world (with little interference), his films allow time to flow with the spirituality of a dream—scenes swim in and out of consciousness like the recollection of a feeling in realm beyond mere words. And as today is the directors 70th birthday, we thought we’d take a look at some of his best moments and go behind-the-scenes to what it takes to make them come alive.
So make yourself cozy and enjoy the emotionally symphonic world of T. Malick.
Of course, awards don’t mean everything. A beautiful masterpiece can be overlooked just as simply as a vapid disaster can be praised for the wrong reasons. However, if there’s one award that tends to hold its weight, it’s the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or. Introduced in 1955, if nothing else, the award has been indicative of a film’s lasting power and the sustained and wonderful career if its director. From David Lynch and Wim Wenders to Bunuel and Antonioni to Coppola and Scorsese to Tarantino and Kiarostami, to Haneke and Malick, the Palme d’Or winning films of the last 66 years have been some of the most influential and beloved pieces of modern filmmaking around the world. So with Cannes in full swing, here’s a look at some of the best films to win the coveted award over the years. Enjoy.
"Thanks to brilliant performances by Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, and Orson Welles; Anton Karas’s evocative zither score; Graham Greene’s razor-sharp dialogue; and Robert Krasker’s dramatic use of light and shadow, The Third Man, directed by the inimitable Carol Reed, only grows in stature as the years pass."
"If you’ve never seen Blowup before, prepare yourself for one of the cinema’s most unique experiences. If you have seen it before, prepare as well for rediscovering—much like the film’s hero—something you only thought you knew."
"It’s also about deeper issues such as guilt, paranoia, responsibility, absolution and redemption, themes that were common to American cinema in the 1970’s during the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam era. What is even more amazing is the fact that The Conversation is a film that most contemporary audiences have never even heard of. "
"…Apocalypse Now" is the best Vietnam film, one of the greatest of all films, because it pushes beyond the others, into the dark places of the soul. It is not about war so much as about how war reveals truths we would be happy never to discover."
"And what makes the film so emotionally and cinematically rich is the juxtaposition between Shepard and Wenders—the German with a fantastical pastiche obsession with Americana and the rough-tongued “rock and roll Jesus with a cowboy mouth” himself, whose words are engrained in the sprawling western landscape. The two have collaborated many times since, but this holds as by far their best work—creating something that speaks to the human condition so effortlessly in a way that few films have been able to. No one does melancholic American isolation like a misanthropic German. "
"But it isn’t the structure that makes "Pulp Fiction” a great film. Its greatness comes from its marriage of vividly original characters with a series of vivid and half-fanciful events and from the dialogue. The dialogue is the foundation of everything else."
"Haneke’s genius is to embed these possibilities in films rooted in the daily lives of ordinary people. He denies us the simple solutions of most films, in which everything is settled by the violent victory of one side. His films are like parables, teaching that bad things sometimes happen simply because they . . . happen. The universe laughs at man’s laws and does what it will."
"The Tree of Life" has awe-inspiring visuals suggesting the birth and expansion of the universe, the appearance of life on a microscopic level and the evolution of species. This process leads to the present moment, and to all of us. We were created in the Big Bang and over untold millions of years, molecules formed themselves into, well, you and me."
"A film like "Amour" has a lesson for us that only the cinema can teach: the cinema, with its heedless ability to leap across time and transcend lives and dramatize what it means to be a member of humankind’s eternal audience."
Well, after To the Wonder premiered last month to a devise set of reviews—either raving that it was a symphonic ballet of emotion and beauty or a shallow and two-dimension story that looked stunning but lacked feeling—we’re all wondering just where the other features he’s been working on will fall on the Terrence Malick scale of greatness. And next up, before his Austin-set music film is Knight of Cups, starring Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, and Cate Blanchett. And with the Cannes Film Festival kicking off today, foreign distributor’s will get their first taste of the film when FilmNation debuts footage at the festival. But for us, The Hollywood Reporter has now released the first time from the film—and it’s truly shocking.
I jest. No, the image features Bale and Portman in a wistful moment barefoot in shallow water, which, has certainly become typical Malick fare. But hey, I’m not complaining. Although little is known about the picture, the film is apparently about "celebrity, temptation, and excess," I’m sure with a dash of ethereal meditation of the divine presence of love and virtue. Currently in post-production, Isabel Lucas, Antonio Banderas, Wes Bentley, Imogen Poots, Freida Pinto, Teresa Palmer, Ryan O’Neal, Jason Clarke, Joel Kinnaman have all been featured in set photos yet will doubtfully all make the final cut. Lest we forget Michael Shannon spent a day grazing through wheat fields with Ben Affleck shooting To the Wonder.
Knight of Cups is said to be "more accessible" than the last, which doesn’t mean that it will be any better or worse or less beautiful but with To the Wonder as his most abstract poem of images yet, perhaps he felt the need to reign it in a little with this one. Either way, stay tuned for more news on the film as Cannes begins and more starts rolling in.
Between the production announcements for Wim Wender’s Every Thing Will Be Fine and Joachim Trier’s Louder Than Bombs, this has been a great week for anticipating 2014’s most coveted releases. But just in time for Ryan Gosling to head to Cannes for the premiere of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, it’s been announced that his directorial debut How to Catch a Monster, has been picked up by Warner Bros. Back in January, we reported that English actor Matt Smith, best known for Dr. Who would be leading the picture opposite Christina Hendricks and alongside Eva Mendes and Ben Mendelsohn.
Penned by Gosling, How to Catch a Monster is a surrealist dreamscape of a film that takes place in a vanishing city, centering on a single mother being swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld when her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an under watch town. It was alluded to a few months ago that the film had some "Lynchian" elements about it—but nowadays that just means it’s probably psychologically stirring with haunting surrealist undertones. However, if it is indeed "Lynchian" in the term’s most academic definition, that would a delight. And for an actor that has been working for over a decade now alongside some of film’s most acclaimed and beloved directors—from Refn to Terrence Malick and Derek Cianfrance—one can only hope that he’s absorbed a bit of their craft, technical skill, and eye for telling authentic and emotional stories in a wonderfully cinematic way.
But before we can even get our selves excited for How to Catch a Monster, we’re still counting down the days until Only God Forgives rolls into US theaters this July to punch is right in the gut and pack that Refn sense of style and kinetic energy we’ve been missing. So although we’ve seen about a million photos, trailers, clips, etc. for the Thai boxing thriller, there are still more rolling out. Today we’re graced with another poster for the film—a tinted blue design that’s not quite as enticing as the last, but it’s Ryan Gosling, so who’s complaining? The type harkens back to Drive‘s incredible hot pink credits but we’ve been assured by Gosling that this film is much, much different.
So check out the new look at the film, along with a few more photos and read Refn’s full director’s statement below.
The original concept for the film was to make a movie about a man who wants to fight God. That is, of course, a very vast obstacle but when I was writing the film, I was going through some very existential times in my life – we were expecting our second child and it was a difficult pregnancy – and the idea of having a character who wants to fight God without knowing why very much appealed to me.
With that as the concept, I elaborated by adding a character who believes he is God (Chang), obviously the antagonist, with the protagonist being a gangster who is looking for religion to believe in (Julian). This itself is, of course, very existential because faith is based on the need for a higher answer but most of the time, we don’t know what the question is. When the answer comes, then, we must backtrack our lives in order to find the question. In this way, the film is conceived as an answer, with the question revealed at the end.
With hindsight, I am able to see the similarities between Chang and One Eye in Valhalla Rising, and Driver in Drive – all are rooted in fairytale mythology and have difficulties living in the everyday world. I can see that technically, there is a resemblance in their stoic behavior, silence, and fetishistic portraits even though they live in different times and are portrayed by different actors. In Valhalla Rising, One Eye is enigmatic – we don’t know his past but he is defined by his name. In Drive, Driver is defined by his function. And in Only God Forgives, Chang is first of all defined by his enigmatic behaviour, to such an extent that he becomes a disembodied character, an ‘it’, defined not by his name but solely by his image.
In a way, Only God Forgives is like an accumulation of all the films I’ve made so far. I think I was heading toward a creative collision, full speed ahead, in order to change everything around me and to see what would come after. I have always said that I set out to make films about women but I end up making films about violent men. Now that everything is colliding, it may end up turning things upside-down for me. This collision is exciting because everything around me becomes so uncertain and we must not forget that the second enemy of creativity, after having ‘good taste’, is being safe.
Toss your beloved DVD collection to the side and head to the theater, because all of your favorite movies are playing this weekend. And no, I doubt I’m being hyperbolic when I say that there is surely a personal classic for everyone screening around the city, and what better way to view your most cherished piece of cinema than in the format it deserves? Whether you’re one for PT Anderson’s evocative ensemble dramas, Terrence Malick’s magic hour murders, David Lynch’s haunting and heartbreaking surrealism, or Quentin Tarantino’s black-humored violence there are plenty of undoubtable masterpieces of film to enjoy, alongside some of the most-acclaimed new movies of the year. I’ve rounded up the best of what’s playing throughout New York City this weekend—so peruse the list, see what you’re in the mood for, go get yourselves some Twizzlers, and head down to the cinema. Enjoy.
Jennifer Lawrence may have taken home the Oscar for Best Actress, but there’s no denying it’s Jessica Chastain who has become Hollywood’s most coveted actress—and rightfully so. After first seeing her in Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, the world fell under her spell of talent and charm and watched closely as went on to give one of the year’s best performances in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. And since, directors have been pining after the actress, landing her starring roles in the upcoming Miss Julie from Liv Ullmann and Crimson Peak from Guillermo del Toro. But now, it appears she can add another notable name to the list as she joins the cast of Christopher Nolan’s much-anticipated Interstellar.
We reported last month that Matthew McConaughey would be joining the cast as well, in the film that was originally set in place by Steven Spielberg in 2006. In January, Nolan signed on to write a script that merged the original idea about the existence of wormholes used for time travel written by his brother Jonah, with his own original idea. Nolan and Emma Thomas producing will be prodicing and, "the ambition is a film that will depict a heroic interstellar voyage to the farthest borders of our scientific understanding."
So although shooting is set to begin later this year, a date has already been set for the film’s theatrical release, a prime November 7th spot for 2014.