Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.
I caught this film on Swedish television the other day, and as a Terrence Malick-fanatic, I had extremely high hopes for this documentary. I was a bit disappointed to find out that the documentary focused more or less only on his films, without even touching on subjects such as Malicks 20 year absence from making films, the scripts he wrote before he started directing, and the mystery of this reclusive genius. Terrence Malick is, not surprisingly, absent from this documentary. We do not even see a picture of him. But once I accepted the fact that it focused on his films, I have to admit that the documentary was a very good one.
The first half of the documentary focuses on his debut, "Badlands", and we are taken to various locations were the film was shot. The second half deals with his other two films: "Days Of Heaven" (arguably the weakest), and "The Thin Red Line". The interviews, from Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Jack Fisk, Elias Koteas, Sean Penn, John Savage, Jim Caviezel, Arthur Penn, and others, are extremely interesting. Everybody has such beautiful things to say about Malick and his films, some of it is actually very moving. When people do talk about Malick himself, they talk about how he works and his extreme shyness, and it does help the viewer to create an image of the man, and how he might be to work with.
It is also worth noting that the documentary only lasted for 60 minutes, although it is listed as a 90 minute documentary on this site. Perhaps some of the things I was missing is in the complete documentary? Or perhaps the running time listed on this site is incorrect.
I would recommend every fan of Terrence Malick and his films to see this documentary. It is not indispensable work, but still highly recommended. It did make me re-watch his films.
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