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mizzoubuckeyeiowa
Member since Nov 2015
29178 posts

What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?

Is this some old age existential search for meaning without boundaries of story-telling?

I don't get it. Maybe he's bored and is just pushing the boundaries of film...I used to think Lynch was the master at wanting to create ambiguous ethereal movies that objectively can't be made sense of.

But at least Lynch had great dialogue and suspense even if you weren't sure what was going on.

Malick...has been missing...dialogue, a beginning and end...and to have a purpose beyond..."feeling the movie."

Knight of Cups...what the hell was that? A long music video with only voice-over dialogue and no interesting music. And his direction is jumpy and annoying and way too many close-ups. It literally is like a bad long music video shot by an amateur with endless amounts of brooding.

To the Wonder...? A long tampon ad without dialogue?

A Tree Life - was the beginning of the end for Malick (while not as bad as some people loathed it) but critics gave it way too much praise for that start of over self-indulgence and now he's gone off the deep end in thinking movie-goers want more abstract parody of his former self.

What happened to the guy who made A Thin Red Line and Badlands - movies that are poetic but actually have a story arc...and a point to make, commentary and real direction.

Instead of just aimless "attempts" at poetry and visual eye-candy. I say attempts because I don't believe he is succeeding. The films feel hollow.


This post was edited on 1/22 at 1:39 am


RollTide1987
Alabama Fan
Washington, D.C.
Member since Nov 2009
57348 posts

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
The Thin Red Line was a good but not great movie. Malick ditching substance for style is alleviated by the battle scenes in the film and the characters are good enough to keep me invested when they aren't fighting the Japanese.

The New World, which you didn't mention, is one of the most bland and boring films I have ever seen. It took me multiple sittings to push through it.

The man fancies himself an artist and many of his fans buy into the hype. Not me.


mizzoubuckeyeiowa
Member since Nov 2015
29178 posts

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
You actually make a good point.

If you take out the war scenes in A Thin Red Line - and he's not filming a war movie...what is that movie?

It's To the Wonder...with the dialogue of a Tree of Life. His subject matter probably saved him...but I did love that movie...and now his subject matter is banality or existentialism because he's writing his own stuff.

And Badlands is still great regardless of anything...because like Thin Red Line, it's based on events in history (Starkweather murders) so Malick didn't have free reign...

And to think (Badlands) was him at his most restraint...and it had such a great balance of story-telling and visuals and poetry and restrained acting.

This post was edited on 1/22 at 1:39 am


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Jack Ruby
US Space Force Fan
Member since Apr 2014
16458 posts

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
quote:

The man fancies himself an artist and many of his fans buy into the hype. Not me.



This is the perfect sentence for his last 4 or 5 movies. Christopher Plummer said it better than anyone. Plummer: "I'll Never Work With Him Again."

He has become too in love with his own visuals. I don't know how anyone funds his movies or any actors work with him because of the final product being so strange and unflattering to the actor. I remember watching a Texas Longhorn football game in Sept or October of 2012, yes 2012, and the broadcast showed Natalie Portman and Fassbender watching the game from the concourse. That movie still hasn't fricking come out yet!!! It was 3 1/2 yrs ago! The announcers didn't even recognize Fassbender because he wasn't a big star yet, and Portman had just come off her Black Swan ride!
LINK



I remember this because I've kept waiting to see trailers for this movie and it never happened. Recently I looked on Malick's IMDB and it hasn't even been finished! LINK The cast is incredible, but it will probably be so nuts it's unwatchable.

This post was edited on 1/22 at 1:44 am


mizzoubuckeyeiowa
Member since Nov 2015
29178 posts

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
"You're so boring, you've got to get yourself a writer." - to Malick

Yeah, I've heard that before and that he cut out Adrian Brody as the lead in The Thin Red Line despite shooting hours and hours of film with him...and the rep is Malick shoots tons of film and then makes his movies in the editing room and doesn't bother telling the actors.

As Brody said about Malick: "You know the expression, don't believe the hype?, well you shouldn't."

Bill Pullman, Viggo, Martin Sheen and Rourke were also cut out completely.

Rachel Weisz and apparently Jessica Chastain and Amanda Peet filmed long scenes for To The Wonder but were completely edited out.

But famous actors keep lining up for him...look at his recent film....Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy...

I don't get it.


This post was edited on 1/22 at 2:34 am


The_Joker
Arkansas Fan
Winter Park, Fl
Member since Jan 2013
16175 posts
 Online 

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
Hopefully he never shows back up. Everything he makes is pretentious garbage. The guy smokes way too much weed.
This post was edited on 1/22 at 3:22 am


Jack Ruby
US Space Force Fan
Member since Apr 2014
16458 posts

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
His stuff just drips of pretentiousness...by my lord don't tell his sycophants that. Have you ever seen those YouTube comments and his fans just go ballistic?

Look, his stuff is as visually beautiful as anything ever put on film. What disappoints me the most is that he could be on the level of any filmmaker working today and his movies would be an event. Just look at how special 'Badlands' was....but now he just makes incoherent, voiceover dreams. It's gorgeous, but damn is it painful to watch and it shouldn't be. I just wish one day he'd tell everybody why he made this shift, but we'll probably never know.


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ladytiger118
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2009
20902 posts

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
Glad to know I'm not only one who thinks his movies are weird.

I remember seeing the Colin Farrell Pocahontas movie that he did, and it was a huge letdown. It could've been great with the right director.
This post was edited on 1/22 at 7:49 am


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Cooter Davenport
Texas A&M Fan
Austin, TX
Member since Apr 2012
9006 posts

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
I drove by his house in Austin once. Pretty creepy of me.

I LOVE Thin Red Line. That movie is poetry. The cinematic elements of Days of Heaven are amazing. Tree of Life was pretty good.

After that, he became a parody of himself and it is sad.

The problem with Terry is that he's not a money-motivated person - he lives a not-that-fancy lifestyle in Texas - which tells you that his ego lies in his perception within his own field, and among a lot of people in film (look at the top-tier actors who keep lining up to be in his films knowing they could end up on the editing room floor) he's worshiped. So he's not striving for anything anymore and won't compromise his own 'vision'. IF he was after money, or still needed approval from his peers, he could be co-opted into an arrangement where he could be made to follow a script from a real screenwriter and wouldn't have final editing authority. The end result would likely be amazing. But that isn't happening because Terry isn't chasing cash, doesn't live in LA, and doesn't want for approval anymore, so he'd never ever, ever agree to that.
This post was edited on 1/22 at 9:18 am


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SlowFlowPro
Stanford Fan
Simple Solutions to Complex Probs
Member since Jan 2004
386052 posts
 Online 

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
yeah you just have to accept what you're getting with malick

boring, incoherent, dreams

sometimes that can work or fits in my desires. often it doesn't. usually i talk myself into it and then can't finish the movie


Josh Fenderman
Alabama Fan
Ron Don Volante's PlayPen
Member since Jul 2011
6319 posts

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
quote:

The New World, which you didn't mention, is one of the most bland and boring films I have ever seen. It took me multiple sittings to push through it.

A thousand times this.

Granted, I've only seen this one and Tree of Life (Tree of Life only because I remember threads here singing it's praises), but both of those were 2-2 1/2 hour movies that felt like 4. Not falling for that shite again.


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VOR
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Apr 2009
60463 posts

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
Badlands
Days of Heaven
Thin Red Line
Tree of Life

I actually enjoyed all of those (especially Badlands and Days of Heaven).

Since then? Not so much.


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HumbleNinja
Michigan Fan
Ann Arbor
Member since Jan 2011
2997 posts

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
Tree of Life is one of the best films of the 21st century.


CBandits82
Lurker since May 2008
Member since May 2012
46302 posts
 Online 

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
Malick is the most overrated director in cinema history.


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CBandits82
Lurker since May 2008
Member since May 2012
46302 posts
 Online 

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
quote:

sometimes that can work or fits in my desires. often it doesn't. usually i talk myself into it and then can't finish the movie



Exactly what I do with his films.

Although I did kind of enjoy Tree of Life.


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LoveThatMoney
LSU Fan
Who knows where?
Member since Jan 2008
12243 posts

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
He's just not a good director and is completely incapable of storytelling. I've said this before, though it was in reference to Gravity, if you can't write dialogue and can't maintain a semblance of story structure, you aren't a storyteller and you shouldn't be directing films.

If all you want to do is make pretty moving pictures that only hint at something, essentially be a painter with a camera, wonderful. Don't be surprised when your two hour moving painting bores the audience to tears and they only view it for a short period of time before moving on to another moving painting.

I honestly feel like he's trying to make movies that you would project on the wall of a museum rather than on a movie screen, but he's too full of himself to realize that, if he wants to do that, he should make 5 minute shorts instead of features.

He's a fricking Starbuck's barista NYU film student with a budget.


Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
87395 posts

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
I agree. I have always disliked Malick.

He makes pretty pictures, but shitty, boring films.


Freauxzen
USA Fan
Utah
Member since Feb 2006
36569 posts
 Online 

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
quote:

Tree of Life is one of the best films of the 21st century.


This.

Days of Heaven, Badlands, etc. New World and Red Line are his weakest films.

And I enjoyed To the Wonder a lot.


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SlowFlowPro
Stanford Fan
Simple Solutions to Complex Probs
Member since Jan 2004
386052 posts
 Online 

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
quote:

He's just not a good director and is completely incapable of storytelling.

well Americans are biased towards storytelling

i fully admit my bias

quote:

If all you want to do is make pretty moving pictures that only hint at something, essentially be a painter with a camera, wonderful. Don't be surprised when your two hour moving painting bores the audience to tears and they only view it for a short period of time before moving on to another moving painting.

i fully agree, but it doesn't mean the director isn't good/great or the product wasn't either


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Brosef Stalin
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2011
37007 posts

re: What the hell happened to Terrence Malick?
He's more like a still photographer that makes movies. I really like Tree of Life though. The way its filmed works perfectly. To the Wonder is a perfume commercial, but a really good one. I like his style but I would agree he's not for everyone.


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