It’s always difficult to articulate just how Terrence Malick’s films make me feel. It’s as though I could more easily paint you a picture or shoot you a short film that properly expresses my emotion and thoughts on his work rather than letting words fall short. But if you’re a fan of his films, you know that they tend to sway towards meditations on existence—whether it be exploring the universe’s path of creation and evolution or love and the atrophy of faith in its painful wake.
With his latest philosophical look at divinity, forgiveness, love, and loss, Malick brings us into his magic hour world in a contemporary style that’s at once jarring and eye-opening, allowing us to see the ordinary intersection of nature and the man-made world in a metaphysical way that awakens something inside of us. And with To the Wonder being released in theaters and VOD next week, we’ve already seen a wealth of features—from behind-the-scenes clips, various trailers, new posters, and a copious amount of stills. But now, you can enjoy five brief clips from the film that highlight the exploration on faith and love.
As this is a Malick picture, where the moments of wonder lie in mise-en-scène and tactile emotion rather than plot, don’t worry about these clips "giving anything away." However, it’s a pretty great thing to enter a film with very little knowledge about it and allow yourself to sink into it completely without a hint of pre-conceived notion—so if that’s what you desire, perhaps don’t venture any further down the page. But if you’re of a different mindset, then enjoy away.
The other night, I passed a neon-lit Sonic and, instead of thinking of my own hunger, a soft wistful voice saying "You shall love" swarmed my brain. Just as it was odd to see a Whit Stillman film last year featuring cellphones and skinny jeans, it was bizarre that Terrence Malick’s latest emotional poem of images contained a glowing and beautiful shot of a Sonic Drive-In.
But finding the mystical beauty in banal or mundane landscapes is what Malick does best. We’ve all seen a wheat field at dusk but no one can make it look so divine as he. And as this is a contemporary film, it’s only natural to include a shot like this but does make for some good laughs. So taking it a step further, Brian Carmondy has created his own Malickian ad for the restaurant—and it’s great.
Also, Rope of Silicon has given us the treat of combining the voice track from Brad Pitt’s Chanel ad with visuals from the trailer for To the Wonder and obviously it’s pretty dead-on.
It may only be Tuesday, but the days already seems to be crawling by slowing. But never fear, this week there happens to be a wealth of exciting events happening around the city to help the days ago by faster and feed your artistic affinities. With Simon Killer andUpstream Colorpremiering at IFC this Friday and To the Wonder finally being released next week, throughout New York premiere screenings and filmmaker Q&As are being held, which is a total delight. In addition, you can get the chance to see brilliant composer Clint Mansell in his first ever live NYC performance, amongst other fun events to attend. So I’ve rounded up the best of what’s going on this week for you to peruse and enjoy. Take a look.
When a company like Magnolia picks up your film, you know you’re in good hands. In a time when seeing quality films in theaters is becoming less and less possible, companies like that are making art house accessable, getting real works of cinema to a mass audience—even if the viewing experience isn’t quite the same. When a film like Melancholia was released on VOD, it opened up the visibility of the film hugely for those people in towns sans independent theaters that would never be screening a Lars von Trier movie. However, it did still have a 145 screen theatrical run and honesty, watching it from home was not comparable to viewing it in a theater—that final crescendo so loud and magnificent the theater seemed to shake.
And a few months ago, it was announced that Magnolia would also be putting out Lars von Trier’s highly anticipated Nymphomaniac on VOD for everyone to take pleasure in—which will surely cause a stir amongst a more conservative crowd. But now, it’s been announced that Terrence Malick’s last poem of images and emotions To the Wonder—set to premiere on April 12th in theaters—will also be given a VOD date as well with the release. And, of course, as this is a Malick picture, the film is a total cinematically beautiful visual delight. From the sweeping plains of Oklahoma to the neon-lit Sonic drive-thru, Malick’s latest meditation on the pain of love will now be open to a wider audience. It’s a shame for those who don’t have an enormous television and high-quality sound system, but imagine the joy of knowing you can still take part in viewing something amazing somewhere in which you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to—watching this on your home television is certainly better than not viewing it at all.
The hardest thing about accepting VOD as a filmmaker is that you spend a year of your life meticulously crafting these technical aspects of a movie to be seen on a big screen, in the dark, with loud sounds. So when someone’s like, “Oh, I’m watched it on my phone…” The ulcers that I got over the last year trying to do this right and spending all the time and money to do, and then you watch it on your phone? It’s just really defeating. But paying to watch it on VOD supports the movie and supports the company releasing the movie, which makes it seem like it’s important. If the movies seems like a good investment, then more movies like that will get made, which is great for me. But if you live somewhere with an indie scene, then yeah, you should probably go see it in the theater because that’s how it was meant to be seen. That opportunity is getting smaller and smaller by the minute so you should embrace that.
So yes, see To the Wonder in a theater please—if you can. And if not, black your windows and nestle up with a cup of tea or whiskey and a good blanket.
The 86th and 87th annual Academy Awards dates were announced this morning, and next year, the ceremony looks to fall slightly later. This year’s mid-February ceremony was a welcome relief to incessant campaigns and chatter about certain films, but in 2014, the show will be help on March 2nd, with a February 22nd air date for the following year. And although we’ve got about ten more months of films to be released and annoucned, there are already quite a few we’re excited for that will most likely and/or hopefully continue to gain recoginition. But we all know awards really mean nothing in the way of artistic merit—case in point—so here’s mainly just a list of movies we like or intend on enjoying in 2013.
Let me begin by saying that whoever is cutting these To the Wonder trailers deserves an entire award ceremony of his/her own. And although it seems I have already spoken ad nauseum about Terrence Malick’s latest philosophical/emotional masterpiece with word of new trailers, stills, featurettes, etc., I almost forgot that a proper US theatrical trailer had yet to be released. And yesterday, Entertainment Tonight (of all places) debuted the beautiful new preview that has taken my heart and placed it on my lap so that it can absorb my endless tears. Featuring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams, and Javier Bardem, this new trailer allows us to see more stunning moments from his graceful poem of images. And in addition, perhaps the first lovely shot of a Sonic Drive-In featured in a Malick movie, right?
And this idea of "the Wonder," of the abstract beauty inherent in existence, of allowing our eye to deconstruct the way we view the world around us with a spirituality that connects emotion and creation to something beyond, is at the crux of Malick’s work and To the Wonder explores that through the memory of love’s torture. As part of our December/January cover story on Kurylenko, she spoke to us about her process of working on the feature, saying:
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.
But more on this closer to the film’s release, which is coming up on April 12th. So in the meantime, check out the US trailer below, as well as, yet another, clip from the film.
It’s interesting to remember a time when Terrence Malick’s new work would creep out of the woodwork without a sound, appearing like an unearthed treasure upon our screens. But since the praise of The Tree of Life and the fact that Malick has been full speed ahead on his next enigmatic projects full of stars, we seem to be getting a new taste of his latest poem of images To the Wonder, almost daily.
And in today’s installment of Malickian delights, EW has premiered a new post for the film. This one shows the pair of tortured lovers, Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko upon the shores of Mont Saint-Michel or “The Wonder of the Western World.” It’s more structured than the previous ethereal visuals from the film that we’ve seen, however, still beautiful. The exclusive doesn’t mention the artist of the poster but I’m going to say it’s safe to assume this is the work of Neil Kellerhouse? We’ll be checking on that.
In the meantime, watch that brilliant first trailer again and check out the poster below.
Well, it’s March already—who knew? And as we rise out of Oscars season, it’s finally time to look forward to the myriad amazing films debuting in the coming months. March alone will see the premiere of Spring Breakers, The Place Beyond the Pines, Room 237, and Beyond the Hills. But throughout the spring, some of our most anticipated films of the year are set to roll into theaters and I will be more than pleasure to not hear the word “Argo” for quite some time. So, from Matteo Garrone’s Reality to Antonio Campos’ Simon Killer, here are the spring premieres we’re getting excited about.
Between the cracks of Terrence Malick’s silences live hundreds of emotions just rising to the surface. His quiet moments, more powerful than most words could ever articulate. And when we look back on pain or love, memories flash and dissolve in one’s mind in fractions, remembering with a photographic sense, not what he said in the arguement but the way your stomach filled with fire, not the screaming but the way his teeth looked when he did so. And Malick captures that heightened beauty of memory, even in the most exhausted moments.
So with To the Wonder, which will hit American theaters May 12th, we’ve gotten a peak at everything from gorgeous stills to behind the scenes features and trailers, but now a first clip from the film has been released to keep your excitement on the rise. This clip shows Olga Kurylenko and Ben Affleck as their pair of tortured lovers forced to deal with questions of faith, intimacy, obsession, dependence, and what it means to exist with real love inside you. In this first clip, we see them at The Mont Saint-Michael, referred to as "Wonder of the West." It’s a grey scene but a more spiritual moment before love goes sour. Take a look.