Once upon a time, Terrence Malick was known for the lengthy gaps between his films. His much-revered late ‘70s tone poem Days of Heaven was followed up 20 years later with 1998’s meditation on war The Thin Red Line. In the past decade and a half, Malick’s productivity has seen an uptick: since 1998, he’s released three new films: The New World (2005), The Tree of Life (2011), and To the Wonder (2012).
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Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, Winkler Films & The Fyzz Facility, in tandem with David Mamet, are planning a screen adaptation of the playwright’s 1988 three-person play Speed-the-Plow. The story satirizes Hollywood’s profit incentives as they relate to what sort of films get made. At the moment, no decisions about casting have been announced.
“Aileen,” calls out Nick Broomfield near the end of Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer, “I’m sorry.” At that moment, she’s being led away by two prison guards, following her final interview with the filmmaker. Apparently furious that the questions have veered toward the murders for which she’s on Florida’s death row, Wuornos has cut off the meeting, exercising the only control she has over her experience at that moment. She turns back to the camera one last time and raises her middle finger.
Everyone has their favorites. That general rule holds true even for critics, with all their high-minded ideas about what art can be and their five-dollar words. Over time, it’s natural that some artists become Great Artists, those who never fail to get critics riled up every time they announce a new release. In the present day, artists such as Kanye West and David Lynch have culled rabidly devoted fanbases that will seemingly praise whatever they put out for the world to see or hear.
In accepting the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature on Sunday night. Laura Poitras focused, as always, on the significance of transparency and visibility. As the film she made with Glenn Greenwald and Ed Snowden reveals, such democratic ideals remain at risk by the American government’s activities and attitudes. For all the daunting information Citizenfour reveals it asks you not only to see, but also to take responsible for what you see. Sometimes, the film offers long, nearly meditative takes of exteriors, the Hong Kong hotel from afar, implacably shiny, or distant views of dully thunk-thunking machinery at a new NSA data collection facility under construction in Bluffsdale, Utah, and near film’s end, a long shot of a kitchen window, showing Snowden and his partner Lindsay Mills, in their for-now home in Moscow, quiet, ordinary, perfectly framed.