8444Re: [terrencemalick] Re: To The Wonder
- Apr 17 10:54 PMHere was a great review that made me watch it a second time
immediately. I bought it 'on demand' on Dish Network...and for some odd
reason, it's STILL on my DVR 5 days later. Not that I'm complaining.
The guy that did this review has a first name of Bilge...isn't a Bilge
a member of this group?
From: PNeski <PNeski@...>
To: terrencemalick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wed, Apr 17, 2013 12:57 pm
Subject: Re: [terrencemalick] Re: To The Wonder
I didn't think the Paris part was that great,since so much of this film
is visuals ,I didn't think those moving camera shots added up to
much,and didn't care for choice of music either,the shots of the mud
were fantastic ,but other than
a shot out the window of a train,I didn't care for much it ,I did care
for the look of the film when they got to the US,those scenes were
impressive The voice over did nothing for me ,and theres still way to
much Handheld and Steadycam stuff
this is the total opposite of a Bergman film with more set ups than any
movie I can remember ,the transfer and Photography were super ,wish we
had more than one character given to us ,and that wasn't a very
likeable one,I take it was one
of his wife's friends in real life
From: Julien Picot <theboywiththecamerainhisside@...>
To: terrencemalick <email@example.com>
Sent: Wed, Apr 17, 2013 1:33 pm
Subject: [terrencemalick] Re: To The Wonder
My dear friends,
A few thoughts after watching “To The Wonder”.
It is a film with many problems and few virtues.
The beginning and all the Paris section are wonderful. Mont
Saint-Michel and the Paris streets are filmed in such a beautiful and
evocative manner. It is an excellent starting point.
The CUT that takes us from Paris to Oklahoma is stunning. Just “that”
cut, that frame, the way he jumps from Paris to Oklahoma. Pure
filmmaking at it's best. Moments like these, simple and pure, show us
Malick as a gifted director, a one that plays on a major league: no
airports, no suitcases, no planes, and no arrivals... Just a cut and
The Sound Design:
It is stunning and the best part of the movie so far. It is a
magnificent aural experience. It makes you want to "listen" the movie
instead of watching it. It is a much better movie (sic) when listening
it. Multiple layers of sounds, music, whispers, echoes, and voices, all
mixed in such a great and delicate balance. Brilliant.
Some (BIG) problems:
I think Malick has become a self-parody and his cinema already a
franchise for this kind of aesthetics. There is so much indulgence, so
much self-consciousness. Finally, this is the Malick for the mass
culture. There is now a label for this type of products: “Malickian”.
And he is the first instigator or the best salesman of it.
No transcendentalism cinema can be achieved with such approach. It
becomes tacky and phony. I don’t buy this false romanticism and
spiritualism. There are moments, certainly, but the overall result is
full of mannerisms. Shame.
I wish Malick would be brave and explore new paths. First, he should
try to get rid of the voice-over and embrace a full radicalism
attitude/approach towards his material. Believe me, this movie would be
much much better without the reiterative and so fingered voice-over. Of
course it has beautiful and poetic moments but most of it is just
unnecessary. Imagine this movie without the voice-over, with the
minimum dialogue and there you have a perfect film. New challenges
could be presented to the audience through this approach. This is just
an idea but I feel that Malick has exhausted its potential.
Malick, IMHO, has a problem with stars that can't improvise or
understand what they are asking to do. By now, Malick doesn't need
stars or big names in order to gain box-office appeal. Maybe he needs
them to funding. If so, he could try harder and start a more intense
research of actors that understand him and his material. See Mike Leigh
for what I mean. The acting in Leigh films, mostly improvised, is
amazing. Malick needs REAL and SENSITIVE actors that can deliver the
goods. Don't be the Woody Allen of auteur american cinema!
Affleck and Bardem are ridiculous and lost. You are not watching
characters, your are watching actors performing or trying to perform.
Bardem's voice-over is pathetic. His Spanish tone is so false and lacks
all credibility. It is clear Malick does not know Spanish or didn't
have someone around to tell him about it. But who would say something
to Bardem, right? Olga Kurylenko is the best of all. She is gracious
and fragile as expected. Of course she spends most of the time dancing
and running on the field with her open arms in a commercial/music video
fashion (c'mon Terry, you can do better!) and this become reiterative
and naive. But she is good when delivering the struggle and drama.
Romina Mondello delivers the worst part: a monologue (in Italian) about
freedom that I was embarrassed for her. We are already seeing that they
live in a suburb in the middle-of-nowhere where live is boring and has
little meaning. I don't understand this decision since we
already got it. I believe this is an error: the unnecessary need of
telling what you are seeing. Rachel McAdams is expendable. Period.
But there is something special regarding the acting and actors. And is
not about the stars but the real people Malick finds on location. At
least they look so authentic and genuine that they steal the show from
the lead actors. Malick should deal with this topic deeper. It is
fascinating and he captures these people and their circumstances so
well you want to know more about their stories. He should embrace or
explore a formal radicalism or some kind of American Neo-Realism style.
A director like Malick is closer to the methods of Pasolini, Rossellini
or Frederick Wiseman. There is a great moment to catch a glimpse of
what I mean: Bardem, a priest that struggles with a crisis of faith,
talks to a black old man inside the church. This man is absolutely
amazing and his lines seems so improvise and personal. On the other
hand, Bardem looks so vulnerable as an actor. The contrast is so
relevant. To mix professional actors and real people can be a great idea
if achieved well. For that, Malick needs actors that understand this
kind of procedure. The movie is a failure but shows enormous
possibilities for keep digging and finding new ideas to enrich his
One more thing about actors: Jessica Chastain, Rachel Weisz, Amanda
Peet, Michael Sheen and Barry Pepper were cut from the final film, so
go figure the other possible movies that could be! I think there is a
movie about the editing room of Malick! A movie about the possible
movies, and never will be, of Terrence Malick.
Malick has become a full time handheld/stedycam type of director, and
sometimes the footage is gorgeous and others too much to express
At the end of the movie, when the camera stops for a few shots, you
breathe and feel so good. Those shots are beautiful and charged with so
much meaning. Malick should keep the camera quiet more often.
And a funny thing in the closing credits, there is one that says:
"Ambassador of goodwill: Alexandra Malick”. No idea what it means...
there is something going wrong with the latest Malick. Maybe is this
indulgence, maybe is that he is surrounded by a group of yes-men or
has not good friends anymore ;) to point him this kind of flaws. There
something that doesn’t fit at all.
Wonder”, even imperfect, could be worth to me if filmed from the guts
of instinct. Instead, its feel so calculate that there is no more sense
exciting risk anymore. This is the Malick imitation made by Malick
Malick for everybody, not the real and genuine one some of us used to
The fields have become a postcard, the
golden sunsets a cliché already. Everything looks worn-out and the Soul
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