Peter T Chattaway

Song to Song (was: Weightless)

55 posts in this topic

Paste mentions that the band in the background is The Black Lips. This isn't the first time they have been associated with the movie, either:

Last month during The Black Lips’ Austin City Limits appearance, Kilmer’s costar Rooney Mara took the stage and pretended to play the guitar.

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Ethereal voiceover:'Brother...sister...why did I eat you? Whence came this hunger?'

Probably the greatest thing I've read all day.

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Ethereal voiceover:'Brother...sister...why did I eat you? Whence came this hunger?'

Probably the greatest thing I've read all day.

Agreed.

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Official Runtime, Cast List For Terrence Malick’s ‘Weightless’ Revealed
The British Board Of Film Classification has revealed that the movie runs 145 minutes and 5 seconds long, and have stamped it with 15-rating for “infrequent strong sex, sex references.” The BBFC also have revealed the credited actors, with the cast list including, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Haley Bennett, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender, Val Kilmer, Benicio Del Toro, Clifton Collins Jr., Angela Bettis, Bérénice Marlohe, Florence Welch, and Holly Hunter. I wouldn’t necessarily take it as gospel, and who knows how long these appearances actually last in the movie (Bale only shot for three days, for example) but its a handy guide.
The movie, set around intersecting relationships in the Austin music scene, apparently has a release date set for June 24th in the U.K. That seems….surprising….though it is the weekend of Glastonbury. Maybe the movie that filmed during Austin City Limits, and placed the actors in the midst of live performances by Arcade Fire, Iron & Wine, Fleet FoxesBlack Lips, and Patti Smith, will have some kind of screening/premiere at the legendary rock festival? We shall see.
The Playlist, May 24

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On November 18, 2012 at 2:12 AM, Peter T Chattaway said:

Shouldn't he be twirling in a field somewhere?  Or twirling on a beach?

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3 hours ago, Attica said:

Shouldn't he be twirling in a field somewhere?  Or twirling on a beach?

 

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Iggy Pop!

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I have done my Christian cinephile duty. Not sure what all to tell you. I'm the least reliable judge of Malick I know. I felt like I at least understood what was going on, plot wise, and I've made some progress in articulating to myself why I'm so not on Team Terence. 

Fassbender said at intro that it was hard to learn his lines because Malick was constantly rewriting. That surprised me. (He said Malick let him "read" his lines,..at least that's what I thought he said.) I looked at my watch a dozen times, but I never felt the desperation for it to be over that I did in Tree of Life. I think any random 15 seconds in a TM film is most likely the most beautiful thing you ever saw....and any random 30 minutes feels 20 minutes too long. Still, I made a concentrated effort to not care about plot...or, rather about words...about dialogue as the primary means to advance the plot. It's gorgeous to look at and Portman and Gosling acquit themselves quite well. (I think Mara is great, but I was never convinced she was who the film says she was.) I think fans will probably love it...at least I hope so for their sake.

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

I have done my Christian cinephile duty. Not sure what all to tell you. I'm the least reliable judge of Malick I know. I felt like I at least understood what was going on, plot wise, and I've made some progress in articulating to myself why I'm so not on Team Terence. 

Fassbender said at intro that it was hard to learn his lines because Malick was constantly rewriting. That surprised me. (He said Malick let him "read" his lines,..at least that's what I thought he said.) I looked at my watch a dozen times, but I never felt the desperation for it to be over that I did in Tree of Life. I think any random 15 seconds in a TM film is most likely the most beautiful thing you ever saw....and any random 30 minutes feels 20 minutes too long. Still, I made a concentrated effort to not care about plot...or, rather about words...about dialogue as the primary means to advance the plot. It's gorgeous to look at and Portman and Gosling acquit themselves quite well. (I think Mara is great, but I was never convinced she was who the film says she was.) I think fans will probably love it...at least I hope so for their sake.

 Isn't there a clause somewhere on Arts and Faith stating that this sort of response to a film by Saint Terrence gets you tarred, feathered and run out of the virtual town? If not, there should be...:) No, but really - I knew there were maybe a couple of doubters, but nothing quite this strong.

Your criticism reminds me a lot of Rossini's quip about Wagner: 'He has sublime moments and awful quarters-of-an-hour'! One other thing the two have in common - they are the least ironic artists you will ever encounter. I wonder if that's not a coincidence; if that level of sincerity leaves them immune from embarrassment, and less likely to modulate their idiosyncrasies/weaknesses to accord with general taste?

Edited by Anodos

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4 hours ago, Anodos said:

 Isn't there a clause somewhere on Arts and Faith stating that this sort of response to a film by Saint Terrence gets you tarred, feathered and run out of the virtual town? If not, there should be...:) 

Actually the clause as written says Paul Thomas Anderson, but it was amended a few years ago to make the punishment, while still on the books, slightly less severe.

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Terrence Malick breaks his self-imposed decades-long silence to discuss the traumatising rumours that Ken Morefield isn't really a fan:

(Spoiler Alert: he says it's okay, he's sending Val Kilmer round with the chainsaw...)

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, they actually told us he was going to be at that panel, but they scheduled it the same time as the American Gods premiere. Sigh. Such is life at a festival.

I was talking to a friend yesterday and I said that Malick doesn't seem to me like he conceives of narratives in terms of scenes, so it's like we have the same vocabulary but a different grammar. For me, watching a Malick film is a bit like listening to someone used to speaking another language trying to explain his ideas in English. I can get the gist of it, but it's hard to stay engaged.

 

Edited by kenmorefield

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You idiots who don't understand how great Malick is have no business calling yourselves film critics. 

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I know we're joking around in this thread (at least I hope we're joking), but as someone firmly on Team Malick to this point, I'm actually grateful for when people like Ken attempt to articulate why they aren't into Malick without too much contempt for fans.

The general consensus on Film Twitter™ seems to be that post-TREE OF LIFE (and for many, this includes TREE OF LIFE) Malick has lost something and fans of his last couple films have been seen as misguided or simply "fanboys" (another charged term amongst the Twitterati). So, I won't go tarring and feathering, lest the tides turn against us even here deep in Malick territory (and since JO himself has been in the "less than thrilled with TO THE WONDER and KNIGHT OF CUPS" camp, I feel it turning).

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14 hours ago, Mark R.Y. said:

You idiots who don't understand how great Malick is have no business calling yourselves film critics. 

That's the sort of statement the IMDB boards used to be full of (and I really miss those boards, but oh boy were they full of crap...) I really hope your comment is just a spoof of those, rather than serious. My own little dig at Ken's expense was meant entirely in jest, and was - I thought - reasonably amusing. (And unfortunately, perhaps a little too nail-on-the-head when it comes to the defensiveness of fanboys. However 'high-culture' they may be...) These boards are a special place, and we're all much too grown up for petty name-calling ;)

1 hour ago, Anders said:

I know we're joking around in this thread (at least I hope we're joking), but as someone firmly on Team Malick to this point, I'm actually grateful for when people like Ken attempt to articulate why they aren't into Malick without too much contempt for fans.

The general consensus on Film Twitter™ seems to be that post-TREE OF LIFE (and for many, this includes TREE OF LIFE) Malick has lost something and fans of his last couple films have been seen as misguided or simply "fanboys" (another charged term amongst the Twitterati). So, I won't go tarring and feathering, lest the tides turn against us even here deep in Malick territory (and since JO himself has been in the "less than thrilled with TO THE WONDER and KNIGHT OF CUPS" camp, I feel it turning).

He's diluting his brand a little, isn't he? It's something I'm torn on - I want all his films to be revelatory masterworks like my first experience of Badlands or The New World, but on the other hand he ain't getting any younger and I want to see some of his other ideas come to fruition. (I would just about kill for his mooted Gawain and the Green Knight, for example, because I know he'd bring something utterly new to that world.) I think I'm more or less with Jeffrey on the last two - though I need to revisit - but that doesn't alter my regard for Malick. As far as I'm concerned he's got a free pass to do whatever he wants. I'll be there. In fact, I kinda wish he had turned this into an 8-hr miniseries, like he apparently considered. Anything different, difficult, intricate, challenging is to be welcomed in this shallow and dumbed-down cultural landscape. There - that was a sweeping sentence the most ardent Malick acolyte would approve!

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20 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

I was talking to a friend yesterday and I said that Malick doesn't seem to me like he conceives of narratives in terms of scenes, so it's like we have the same vocabulary but a different grammar. For me, watching a Malick film is a bit like listening to someone used to speaking another language trying to explain his ideas in English. I can get the gist of it, but it's hard to stay engaged.

I'm a fan and defender of Malick, including his most recent work, but I can certainly empathize with those who find his films frustrating, even boring. This statement about language and grammar is really well-stated and helpful, not only in the Malick conversation, but for any high-praised auteur with enigmatic, difficult films to find wholly satisfying. I agree with Anders above: Ken, I appreciate your views, not just on Malick but on a variety of films/directors, because I see your intentionality behind trying to understand and articulate why Malick, et al, doesn't quite work for you, while still appreciating that he somehow does resonate with others (like me). 

FWIW, for me, the auteur I can appreciate but can't really get on board with is Apichatpong Weerasethakul. :) And I'm looking forward to seeing Lawless Weightless Song to Song.

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Posted (edited)

I share the feeling of not loving Malick’s most recent films (at least as much as “middle Malick”--TTRL to TToL--especially). My theory, at least for my own appreciation of his work, is that his best films are the ones set furthest from the present, that is, from the time the film was made. Thus we come up with a descending ordering as follows (dates/distances are approximate):

 

1. The New World, 1607-1617, almost 400 years

2. Radegund -1943ish, 75 years

3. Days of Heaven, 1916, 62 years

4. The Tree of Life, 1950s but also the present, distant past, etc.; about 50-55 years

5. The Thin Red Line, 1942-3ish, 45 years

6. Badlands, 1959, 14 years

7. To the Wonder, 2012, the present and preceding years

8. Knight of Cups, 2015, the present and remembered preceding years

9. Song to Song, 2017, the present

 

The one exception is The Tree of Life. This ranking system seems accurate for me only dealing with the parts of TToL set in the 50s and the present. But add in the parts including the creation, and millions of years ago, and the consummation that will take place at a time known only to the Father, and you have a film that transcends this ranking system. That temporal ambition is a part of what makes it not just my favorite Malick, but one of my favorite films of all. TNW is a close second, and Days of Heaven a distant third in my book. Actually, I'd probably personally place To the Wonder higher, too. The list's order isn't my own rank, just by how long ago they're set.

I haven’t seen Voyage of Time, but it is kind of an outlier, too. I also haven’t seen Radegund, obviously, but it’s the upcoming film I’m most anticipating.

All that to say, I don't have terribly high expectations for Song to Song. But it's still Malick.

Edited by Rob Z

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I haven't seen the last few Malick films (I missed Knight of Cups and the IMAX version of Voyage of Time when they came through Vancouver; I don't know if we ever had the feature-length version of Voyage of Time), but I have to say the trailer for Song to Song reminds me of everything I have disliked about the last couple of films I saw before that -- starting with the mega-distorted wide-angle cinematography that pretty much ruined The Revenant for me (not a Malick film, admittedly, but it had the same DP as Malick's last several films).

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