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8429Re: [terrencemalick] more on Malick's writing style, where East meets West

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  • PNeski@aol.com
    May 24, 2012
      I might be the only one on this group who doesn't love his second set of movies as much I wish I did.
      while its amazing that you can even say "set of Movies" and while I do like them ,I just don't care
      for them as much as the first Two,The newer films are almost done my another director

      The Voice overs remind you of Days and Badlands,And of course the visuals are great(but not compared to the first two)
      The Dps he used (only two so far)on these new films are fine too,Its his new "loose" style
      which I have a hard time warming out to,Not that he has to be Kubrick,but this camera which
      seems more like a video camera ,isn't my taste
      The Late great Almendros seem to tame Matlicks Steady cam craziness
      Peter








      -----Original Message-----
      From: Angela Havel <anghave@...>
      To: terrencemalick <terrencemalick@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thu, May 24, 2012 12:04 pm
      Subject: Re: [terrencemalick] more on Malick's writing style, where East meets West





      Hi Oscar:

      Ah, the mandorla. Good info, thanks for the reply...I'd like to carry on with an in-depth post, but we're getting our barn roofed, and I'm focused on that this week, as well as myriad other focuses these days (myriad focuses: oxymoron?). I took a moment to post last week not thinking I'd get any replies...was getting a bit nostalgic for the active days of the Malick board, and the summer of 2006 when we time-ate our way to a record 367 posts in June...but looking back doesn't get today's work done, and I realize now how much disposable time I had in 2006 compared to now. So for me anyway, the Malick board heyday will remain a good memory. Then again, there's a couple of new Malick films coming...who knows...maybe they will spur a resurgence of discussion?


      Angela

      >________________________________
      > From: Oscar Houck <slowhorse12@...>
      >To: terrencemalick@yahoogroups.com
      >Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 3:04 PM
      >Subject: [terrencemalick] more on Malick's writing style, where East meets West
      >
      >Hi Angela,
      >
      >When I think about Malick and East vs. West writing styles, especially with
      >the arrival of *Tree of Life*, I think of a mandorla, which is a word you
      >don't hear to often anymore. Not a mandala, but a mandorla, the space where
      >two arcs or circles intersect. Think of the Christian sign or symbol of the
      >fish. The body of the fish is the mandorla. And "religion" in this sense,
      >and the Malickian one, takes on its literal meaning, which is to re-bind,
      >or re-unite, to bridge. In *Tree* we have the ways of Nature (of which man,
      >especially the obvious evils of the patriarchy, is a part) and the way of
      >Grace. The two paths are exemplified by the father and the mother in the
      >film. What the Sean Penn character (Malick's auto-biographical *doppleganger
      >*) manages to do internally is to assimilate both of these ways of being.
      >It's not an either-or proposition. This is where true grace or our sense of
      >what's holy is to be found, if only fleetingly. It's not by deciding for
      >feminine values over masculine, or light over dark, right over wrong, but
      >in realizing we contain both and in accessing and honoring the best of
      >both. It has a lot to do with the Jungian concept of owning your shadow,
      >making what heretofore had been unconscious, conscious. This is what
      >happens in what is nearly the film's final sequence, what many viewers have
      >wrongly assumed is Malick's version of heaven. It is instead a kind of
      >heaven on earth, an internal heaven that's available to all of us, when we
      >manage to briefly go there. It's the place of the internal mandorla, where
      >Penn's character accepts and reconciles all of the "ghosts" that live
      >within him, his dead brother, the seemingly opposing ways of life, of
      >being, that he inherited from his mother and father. It's a place where all
      >is forgiven (accepted, reconciled, re-united) and people can fully love one
      >another. All of this is accomplished on a metaphorical level by Malick's
      >mastery of East meets West, where your discussion of writing styles is
      >concerned. Malick creates better than perhaps anyone, the lyrical moment,
      >the impressionistic paintings of life that he seems to create using light,
      >natural light, but golden, sun dappled, magical. Think back to *DOH,
      >*essentially
      >a silent film told with beautiful, often breathtaking images, helped along
      >by a voiceover narrative. *Tree *enjoys the same impressionistic and
      >elliptical approach, what some viewers see as a lack of plot. But, it also
      >contains or holds all the plot one should need, the story of a family and
      >of a boy growing into manhood. I can't think of a clearer, more linear plot
      >than that. So, Malick manages to blend two styles, and although it's not
      >what we're used to, it makes for all the more delight in repeated viewings.
      >*The Thin Red Line* for example is a diamond that reveals more and more
      >brilliant facets, the more times you see it. In Malick, East meets West, in
      >more ways than one, and perhaps this is his greatest strength, the gift of
      >his personal mandorla, his version, his vision of grace.
      >
      >I think also of Emerson and his seemingly rambling essays that are
      >brilliant despite their difficulty or refusal to be "translated" easily.
      >They always circle back to their essential meaning, as do Malick's films.
      >And Emerson was certainly familiar with Eastern religion and philosophy as
      >he searched for a new voice for his America.
      >
      >Lastly, I think of the essential American storytellers, the Native
      >Americans, who relied almost strictly on an oral tradition and their
      >pictographs. Their own early movies, on the winter count of a teepee for
      >instance, with voiceover supplied around the campfire. Where visual memory
      >meets language, a mandorla, a holy place.
      >
      >All best, Oscar
      >
      >On Sun, May 20, 2012 at 9:29 AM, Angela Havel <anghave@...> wrote:
      >
      >> **
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> Here's the correct link to the internal/external plot info:
      >> http://www.svic.net/pearl/plot.html
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >A misplaced comma messed up the link in my previous post.
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >I know I learned at some point in a graduate school literature course
      >> that stories in the Eastern tradition of plot don't privilege the rising
      >> action/climax/falling action model we're all used to in the West. If you
      >> looked at the East vs. West styles in a graph, the West shows a rising
      >> curve to a climax while the Eastern tradition would show a horizontal line
      >> with several small rises, rather than a rise to one climax. However, this
      >> source is lost to memory, and after some searching online, I don't see a
      >> good compare/contrast of the two styles. The best I can find for now is a
      >> piece that discusses the Eastern tradition of *oral* storytelling, which
      >> includes some description in the third and fourth paragraphs about the
      >> bardic tradition and storytellers as "healers" that makes me think Malick
      >> studies and appreciates the Eastern storytelling forms:
      >> http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/dir/traditions/asiamiddleeast.html
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >I'll bet this presentation would be useful in getting more insight into
      >> the differences between the Eastern and Western traditions:
      >> http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Campbell-Shaping-Eastern-Tradition/dp/1583500545/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337458841&sr=8-1
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >I doubt Malick reads Joseph Campbell, but Malick may have read some of
      >> the original sources from which Campbell creates his "lay person's guide to
      >> myths." However, Malick's films are not Myth 101--I'd put them at an
      >> 800-level course--which is what I like about them, and which is what many
      >> others don't like about them.
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >>________________________________
      >> >> From: Frank Cook <orbital.11@...>
      >> >>To: anghave@...
      >> >>Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2012 1:48 PM
      >> >>Subject: RE: [terrencemalick] Malick sightings
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>Hi..
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>Could you repost this link ? It doesn't seem to be working..I'm really
      >> interested in what you said about Eastern style of storytelling vs Western
      >> style..Could you give me more info-via your opinion or through other
      >> sources?
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>http://www.svic.net/pearl/plot.html%2c...
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>Thanks,
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>Frank
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>Look up! Look up! Seek your maker fore Gabriel blows his horn...
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>________________________________
      >> >>To: terrencemalick@yahoogroups.com
      >> >>From: anghave@...
      >> >>Date: Sat, 19 May 2012 11:33:40 -0700
      >> >>Subject: Re: [terrencemalick] Malick sightings
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>Thanks for posting...the comments below clip are humorous..."HE DOES
      >> EXIST!!!"
      >> >>
      >> >>I finally saw Tree of Life.
      >> >>
      >> >>Observations:
      >> >>
      >> >>The mom floating was trippy.
      >> >>
      >> >>Brad Pitt's face is too kindly-looking to convincingly play a mean
      >> father.
      >> >>
      >> >>I related to the part where the family relaxes when the dad leaves for
      >> his trip...my father was much harsher than Malick's appeared to be, though.
      >> (Isn't it generally agreed this film is about Malick's own family?)
      >> >>
      >> >>Liked the originality of presentation, though a small part of me agrees
      >> withChristopher Plummer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw08GQw0hBI
      >> >>
      >> >>However, Malick doesn't "need a writer." He's a great writer himself,
      >> evidenced by his characterizations, dialogue, detailed descriptions, and
      >> general subtlety that marks a good writer in the two scripts I've read,
      >> Badlands and Days of Heaven.Starting with The Thin Red Line, he favors an
      >> Eastern style of story-telling, where "external" plot is not as important
      >> as "internal" plot (see http://www.svic.net/pearl/plot.html,) and there
      >> is no clearly-delineated exposition, rising action, climax, falling action,
      >> or denouement. Not necessarily a bad thing, but unsettling to those who
      >> cannot forego the Western-style "external" plot.
      >> >>
      >> >>I appreciate Malick thumbing his nose at the conventions of Western
      >> story-telling, yet I like his first two films, the two that display more
      >> conventional story lines, better than his later films. Not sure what that
      >> means.
      >> >>
      >> >>>________________________________
      >> >>> From: vanvutu <vanvutu@...>
      >> >>>To: terrencemalick@yahoogroups.com
      >> >>>Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2012 12:38 PM
      >> >>>Subject: [terrencemalick] Malick sightings
      >> >>>
      >> >>>
      >> >>>
      >> >>>From the current (May/June) issue of FILM COMMENT:
      >> >>>
      >> >>>Longtime Austin resident Terrence Malick
      >> >>>was spotted at SXSW shooting material
      >> >>>for his film about local music scenesters.
      >> >>>Once known as LAWLESS, the movie awaits
      >> >>>a re-christening after Malick generously
      >> >>>ceded the title to John Hillcoat, who'd
      >> >>>wanted it for the upcoming Prohibition
      >> >>>crime drama. Not-LAWLESS stars Christian
      >> >>>Bale, Ryan Gosling, Cate Blanchett,
      >> >>>Rooney Mara, and Natalie Portman, and
      >> >>>will be followed, per Malick's newly accel-
      >> >>>erated rate of production, by KNIGHT OF
      >> >>>CUPS, which re-teams Bale-Blanchett-
      >> >>>Portman and is apparently named after
      >> >>>a tarot card. No reports at press time of
      >> >>>demand for the latter title.
      >> >>>
      >> >>>++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      >> >>>
      >> >>>And here is a video of Malick filming something with Christian
      >> Bale.During the shooting, a female bystander interrupts by offering Bale a
      >> canned beverage, which he accepts. She walks away saying, "That was so
      >> awesome!"
      >> >>>
      >> >>>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY__M_5WWjA
      >> >>>
      >> >>>
      >> >>>
      >> >>>
      >> >>>
      >> >>
      >> >>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >>
      >> >
      >> >
      >>
      >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
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