From being an apparent industry recluse and mysterious enigma for the best part of three decades, Terrence Malick has emerged somewhat perversely as a prolific film-maker in an age where to withdraw from the public eye is tantamount to ludditism. It’s as if this modern era of self-expression for its own sake, extension of one’s self as a brand, reconfiguration of distribution and funding parameters in the arts has somehow freed and emboldened the once hermetic film-maker to express himself in a way that was either an impossible feat within the constraints of the studio production system from the 1970’s through to the 1990’s or was simply unwilling to do during his much documented period in the cinematic wilderness. One could speculate until the sun gives way to the moon or the ants rise up and reclaim terrafirma.
What seems clear in this period (2008 – present) is that Malick has abandoned traditional, plot driven narrative, which he has slowly discarded since his landmark 1973 début Badlands for a more experimental, poetic form driven by his own personal and philosophical enquiries. And so with Knight of Cups, his third feature release in five years looks to continue the fluid,the rapturous visual style and spiritual questing he established so masterfully with his cinematographer Emanuel Lubezski with his 2011 magnum opus Tree of Life, completing a transition from from the cosmic to the earthbound.
* oh yeah, almost slipped my mind… the poster rules. A thing of beauty no? Responses on a postcard to : Flying Fuck Island, Palm Three Indifference, Sea of Serenity. SW Guinea.