Mercury69, on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011, 1:33 PM, said:
I'm not trying to be argumentative here and I suppose I am glad someone is getting something from his films, but...Cinematic beauty is one thing. Telling a cohesive story along with it actually helps. Combine them and you get a real movie, otherwise it's just images, which have merit. But, giving Malick a small benefit of the doubt, I think it's pretty clear he has pretty grand ambition and lots of talent but an inability to put it all together. He needs a muse,perhaps, who can help him put it all together, if only for one film.
The point of his films, isn't to make a typical, cohesive story. I described him to a friend of mine, as being an impressionistic film maker. Not a traditional way to make a film, or tell a story, but I think it is a beautiful and unique way to tell me one, and frankly, it would break my heart to see him "find a muse and put it all together" and become like every other film maker. I can totally understand how people are put off by his films. They are paced slowly, and have a.. meditative quality that is pretty much at odds with the modern film goer's taste. But I really love them. Days of Heaven is one of the must beautiful movies I've ever seen, not just the way it was shot, but the way it expressed emotion, the truth it told. I saw the thin red line in the theatre when it came up, and it blew me away. I had never seen anything like it, and other that Mallick's other work, I still haven't. I think Saving private ryan, which came out at the same time, is a better War movie. I think the first 40 minutes of it, particularly, is some of the most powerful film making ever made. but the thin red line wasn't really a war movie. It was a movie about live, the human condition, about love and isolation, about the meaning of life ( or lack there of) It was much more than a war movie, and I really, really love it. It was a very powerful film. I just think if you go into mallick's movies, with certain expectations of what a film should and shouldn't be, you're going to be disappointed, and think he's a limited director. But I don't think that's because he's untalented, but rather because I think he's such a singular artist. I think many great modern directors, even one's with an original voice, are so informed by the movies that come with them, that their own movies fall into that influence.. you can see the inspirations and influences that PTA, QT, the coens, Scorsese come from. But with a film maker like Mallick.. I literally have no idea what or who he is influenced by. To paraphrase the great Clifford Smith You could call Mallick the old dirty bastard, because there is not father to his style. It may not be your cup of tea, but I don't think he's overrated. Quite the opposite. He's really only rated highly by hard core film buffs and critics, commercially he's basically unknown. Even in forums, when people list off their favorite directors, his name seldom comes up. I'm guilty of that myself. but he's truly a unique artist, and I'm grateful for any movie he makes, no matter how infrequent. He's absolutely a director I will see any movie he makes, no questions asked. The less I know about this movie, the better.