Terrence Malick

The 50 Best Directorial Debuts in Movie History

The Toronto Film Festival, which came to a close recently, wasn’t just the starter pistol for We’re-Not-Saying-It-Yet Season; the long-term value of the festival may well be its place as a launching pad for first-time filmmakers. Twenty-eight films screened in its “Discovery” section, and while we won’t know for some time how many soon-to-be-immortal filmmakers were among its ranks, it’s a good excuse to peruse the history of film and pluck out the debut feature efforts of great directors who knocked us out from their first… Read More

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10 Notorious Pop Culture Recluses

Salinger, the salacious, controversial, and come-to-find-out-maybe-not-that-good new J.D. Salinger documentary, is out today in limited release, casting a spotlight on America’s most notoriously reclusive novelist. And why, three years after his death and 60-plus years after the publication of his most enduring work, does he remain a figure of such fascination? Probably because he didn’t want to be. It’s the nature of American celebrity: once the public appetite is whetted, it can’t be satiated, and that goes double if you try to pull a disappearing act. After the jump, a look at some of the most famous — in spite of their wishes — recluses in pop culture history. … Read More

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The Malick-Style ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ Is Better Than Anything Malick’s Made in Years

Since the Sundance debut of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints back in January, the name of Terrence Malick has been dropped in reference to it nearly as often as that of writer/director David Lowery. The influence, to be sure, is hard to miss: a rural Texas setting; an abundance of sun-kissed, magic-hour photography; even an Affleck, Casey in this film matching Ben in Malick’s spring release, To the Wonder. The comparisons haven’t been entirely flattering. “Lowery, it can’t be denied, has Malick’s moves down pat,” writes The A.V. Club’s A.A. Dowd. “It’s the Malick touch that eludes him.” Dowd may be right — inasmuch as the “Malick touch” has lately verged on self-parody and narrative inertia. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, on the other hand, is better than anything Malick has made in at least a decade. … Read More

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Terrence Malick Got Sued

Maybe the news would be a bit more comforting if it were whispered calmly over images of beautiful women… Read More

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Hollywood’s Cleverest Bait-and-Switch Casting Stunts

If you visit the IMDb page for Pedro Almodovar’s new movie I’m So Excited (out this Friday), you might think a reunion is in the works: the top-billed actors there are Almodovar favorites Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz. So it’s a bit of a surprise to see the film itself, wherein the perversely prankish filmmaker brings in two of the world’s biggest movie stars to appear only in the first scene, running maybe three minutes, before disappearing. Because he knows how we presume these two actors will dominate the film, Almodovar is effectively toying with our expectations; he’s not the first filmmaker to do so. … Read More

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The Problem With Terrence Malick’s Beautiful ‘To the Wonder’

Terrence Malick tries to do something really interesting in his new picture To the Wonder, and to his credit, he almost pulls it off. He’s telling the story of an intense personal relationship (from nearly the beginning to the bitter end), but only on the downbeats — it’s done not via dialogue and other conventional means, but in pauses and reactions and aftermath. We don’t see, for example, a confession of infidelity, but the fallout of that confession; we’re shown a character’s moment alone after being left, but spared the scene where the revelation is made. To the Wonder may contain less person-to-person dialogue than any “talkie” I’ve ever seen. The question is whether that’s the right method for telling this story. … Read More

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