Wednesday, August 3, 2016

KNIGHT OF CUPS(directed by Terrence Malick) Isn't My Cup of Tea.




I have some sound advice for Terrence Malick. Get rid of actors(who stand around clueless), voice-over narration(that sounds constipated), and script(if that's what it is). And get rid of classical music, which is overly solemn and structured for Malick's informal joyrides. Just go for travelogue and show us some pretty pictures. KNIGHT OF CUPS works only on that level. Major characters, such as they exist, serve as little more than bored tour-guides for Malick's wandering notions. Everyone else is either eye-candy, exotica, or dubious distraction, though some are presented as if poised on the edge of epiphany. It's like a film made by someone with a cosmic case of attention deficit disorder.
Stylistically, this latest Malick monstrosity is a decisive improvement over horrors such as THE NEW WORLD and TREE OF LIFE. The camera-work is nimbler, fine-tuned to minute shifts of action and attention. TREE OF LIFE, which looked like the most expensive home movie(or youtube video)ever made, couldn't reconcile the monumental with the momentary, no more than Einstein could unify the theory of stars with that of subatomic particles.
Visually, KNIGHT OF CUPS would have at least made a decent hipster travelogue minus the story and characters. But there is something like a story and something like characters. Neither made it clear why we should care. Malick is now at a point where he thinks it might be of profound social, philosophical, and spiritual significance if he filmed himself scratching his ass. He now makes arthouse porn.

Rating: 2/5

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