Apr 15, 2013


"Most of the moments in the film are interstitial; the story is conjured and suggested rather than shown, and the emotions are evoked and induced rather than performed... Malick constructs the story as the love story, as the story of stories, as a primordial archetype realized in practical and even familiar places, and he films his unnamed characters more or less without dialogue.... Malick avoids many of the ordinary particulars of a couple’s life—why are they together, what drives them apart... Viewers with expectations, or, rather, prejudices regarding what constitutes a movie—regarding scripts, acting, and psychology—are bound to be confounded by “To the Wonder.” Malick has little interest in the psychology of his characters—in fact, it’s hard to call them characters. And the actors who bring them to life have a very difficult job, which they do remarkably... Affleck, a solid and muscular performer, manages to render himself diaphanous" — Richard Brody, The New Yorker 
* An occasional column devoted to those films, books or art works which, by virtue of the praise they elicit from certain quarters, would probably bring greater pleasure unseen than seen, unread than read. A column, in other words, devoted to the idea that there is too much culture, or at any rate too many people making one feel small for not sharing their cultural tastes, and moreover, that the link between appreciating art and living a useful life remaining doubtful, not to say diaphanous, one might be better off having a cup of tea, or a sexual encounter, or a conversation. 


  1. If one could cut together footage both in the film and what Malick probably discarded, an interesting Antonioni/Bergman/Bresson-influenced 75-minute feature--about the trials and attempt at renewed faith of Javier Bardem's priest (attending to the lost and broken of Bartlesville, Oklahoma)--would appear.

  2. Do you have any video of that? I'd want to find out more details.

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  3. And I am glad that I get to see it

  4. Malick seems increasingly to be the worst cinematic case of the emperor having no clothes. For the life of me, I can't figure out why he's so deified. I tried watching Tree of Life on a flight last year and elected to stare blankly out the window instead after the first 25 minutes. Call me crazy, but I like a narrative structure to my movies. "Viewers with expectations, or, rather, prejudices regarding what constitutes a movie—regarding scripts, acting, and psychology—are bound to be confounded by “To the Wonder.”" In other words, this thing is bullshit.

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