The idea of your quintessential ‘art film’ and director Terrence Malick go hand in hand. His latest, To the Wonder, is one of his most polarizing, some hailing it as his latest masterpiece and others decrying it as either a typical Malick poetic snoozefest or an uncharacteristic flop from an otherwise solid filmmaker. I can’t speak to the quality of this release specifically since as far as I know it’s unavailable for those of us here in Canada, but I know that this response is somewhat predictable when it comes to Malick’s movies. He’s not someone who’s going to ever really make a universal hit. But that doesn’t mean he should be dismissed by the majority of movie fans.
In a medium where people regularly complain about a lack of variety, originality and general creativity, filmmakers like Malick should be valued much more highly precisely because they offer something completely different. It’s a conundrum that a lot of people seem to face: they want new stories told in new ways but when actually faced with a different style of narrative presentation they flee the scene and return to their place of comfort. This certainly true in all cases—there are plenty of valid reasons to not dig movies like Malick’s at all—but it is a hypocritical tendency I’ve noticed among writers and movie fans that warrants some extra attention.
Maybe you’re someone who really wants to get into Terrence Malick’s stuff but just can’t find the patience or motivation to get yourself interested. But you see other people treating his work with the type of seriousness mixed with adoration reserved for directors like Stanley Kubrick. After years of back and forth myself, I think I’m finally firmly on board the Malick train. Here are 7 potential avenues you could try to possibly engage with the work of Terrence Malick more. At least, this is how I keep myself interested in material that requires patience and a different way of movie-viewing than your standard cinematic fare.
Continue reading on the next page…