To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2013)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:07 pm

Re: To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2013)

#151 Post by Sonmi451 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:49 am

To be fair, as far as I know most ballets/operas aren't exactly nuanced in their portayal of human relationships. As karmajuice put it, the highs and the lows - the displays of human passion - are usually what they exhibit. I think it's pretty clear that is what Malick is going for here.

User avatar
Posts: 856
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:34 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2013)

#152 Post by Kirkinson » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:36 am

I wonder how many of these arguments would stand if Malick had actually succeeded in making a purely impressionistic, non-verbal, non-narrative "film ballet." People are using words like "authentic" and "plausible," words that seem completely at odds with everything that is good in this film. I agree it ultimately isn't as good as I'd like it to be, but in my view this film could only be made better if it were less tied to everyday reality. If any part of this film is great, it is great because of the way it aspires to a kind of expression more like non-verbal musical forms (less theatrical than ballet, more like the narrative of a tone poem) and the rest of the film suffers in my view because Malick actually lends too much weight to the standards of plot-driven cinema and "believable" characterization. Malick seems to want to do something more boldly experimental, and I wish he could actually buckle down and do it.

User avatar
Posts: 10344
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2013)

#153 Post by zedz » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:26 pm

I think that's also a valid point, and his reflexive use of voiceover certainly hampers any efforts to create visual poetry. I know it's part of his directorial style, but in his last couple of films it's really been redundant or harmful most of the time, in my opinion.

I should clarify that I probably actually liked this film more than The Tree of Life, but I feel it has real problems that are symptomatic of severe limitations / weaknesses in Malick's cinema and which I'd love to see him jolt himself out of. I don't know whether the answer is going more abstract (which might just double down on his affectations) or less. Tackling a simple genre project might not lead to any masterpieces, but it might blow out a few cobwebs.

User avatar
Posts: 14040
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2013)

#154 Post by knives » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:04 pm

Did anyone else get the sense, especially before the last half hour, that Malick was influenced by Peleshian? The film was really at it's best during those montages (though I thought the VO was too much like a Randy Newman song) and it seemed to absolutely get the essence of Peleshian.

User avatar
Luke M
Posts: 1536
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:21 pm

Re: To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2013)

#155 Post by Luke M » Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:16 pm

This was basically a 2 hour perfume commercial about unhappy people. At least it was better than The Tree of Life.

User avatar
Posts: 4202
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2013)

#156 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:50 pm

I really think Malick should do another book adaptation (and I feel this way about Quentin Tarantino for the same reason). He's really butting up against the limits of his own hermetic vision, and short of taking on collaborators who can steer things in a different direction, he can at least bring in a new element into his work by adapting someone else's. Just look at The Thin Red Line (and to go back to Tarantino, Jackie Brown) - there's no mistaking it for anything other than a Terrence Malick film, but even if it's a loose adaptation, the material really grounds him and injects something in both the dialogue and characters that you don't find in any of his other films.

User avatar
Posts: 633
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:07 pm

Re: To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2013)

#158 Post by PfR73 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:35 pm

Just saw a different article on Slashfilm about "Thy Kingdom Come," which gave me the context I was looking for from when I saw it on the SXSW Film Lineup.
The SXSW description was very vague: "A cancer patient mad at God; a Klansman seeking redemption; a mother blamed for her baby’s death; an elderly woman never not in love; a priest who doesn’t pass judgment, who listens: Interwoven, unscripted stories of life in a small mid-America town." Nothing about it's connection to To The Wonder.

I hadn't heard of the director or anyone in the cast list, aside from Bardem, so I had been wondering if Bardem's name in the cast list was some kind of error.

Post Reply