HOLLYWOOD – Terrence Malick’s Song to Song premiers at the SXSW Festival.
There was a time that a Terrence Malick film was a rare thing of beauty. Now he seems to be trying to match Marvel Studios. Unfortunately, the quality has dropped precipitously from the Days of Heaven when we used to visit the Badlands. The New World was the beginning of the rot with a tree hugging Pocahontas who made the Disney version seem like Joan of Arc. Then the ‘masterpiece’ Tree of Life which began to divide audiences. Half saw a technical mastery, a beauty, an unconventional but grandiose ambition. Others thought it looked like an advert for a credit card company that wanted to corner the whispery demographic. To the Wonder made us feel sorry for Ben Affleck. And Knight of Cups… Oh good God, shoot me already.
Even his documentary Voyage of Time, which ought to have been right in his wheelhouse, managed to be annoying shit. Now Song to Song has premiered and we’re back at it. The remaining Malick fans now have a critical Stockholm Syndrome that forces them to like anything he does. The problem is that with each new film that comes out, one feels that the other films are getting worse. Re-watching the Tree of Life after To the Wonder for example takes the first film down a good few notches.
With Song to Song, it seems Malick is doubling down on his modus operandi and best of luck to him. But this might well be the first one that I give a miss.