20 items from 2014
The visionary American film director has nine months to pay a settlement sum with the financiers of Voyage of Time, an epoch-straddling documentary that remains unfinished
• News: Malick taken to court for 'forgetting to make film'
Terrence Malick has come to a settlement with the financiers of his film Voyage of Time, which has remained unfinished since its inception in 2008.
Investment group Seven Seas Partnership, who financed the film, sued Malick's company Sycamore Pictures last year claiming that nearly $6m had been spent but on the production but "with nothing to show for it". They highlighted how he instead spent time on other projects including To The Wonder and the forthcoming Knight of Cups, said that their money was "co-mingled with other financial assets to support the production of other films by Malick," and that he had indeed "forgotten" about the project.
Sycamore countersued, saying that the action brought against »
- Ben Beaumont-Thomas
Director: Terrence Malick
Writer: Terrence Malick
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Cast: Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Val Kilmer, Benicio Del Toro, Holly Hunter, Bérénice Marlohe, Clifton Collins Jr., Haley Bennett, Boyd Holbrook, Tom Sturridge, Angela Bettis
To consider one’s self a fan of Terrence Malick’s oeuvres is, for lack of a better term, cinephile martyrdom. As one of the two current projects that should be released this year (how many times have we said this), the formerly titled Lawless sounds like a Grand Slam in terms of musical acts assisting a romantic backdrop of a good looking set of actors and actresses (they’ll certainly look lush with Emmanuel Lubezki assisting in the photography) this mostly scriptless project might turn out to be a first-cousin comparison the largely dismissed To the Wonder. »
- Eric Lavallee
We're about a week away from Hollywood's biggest night, which means it's time for me to share my first picks to win Oscar gold. First up, my selections for animated feature, documentary feature, cinematography, adapted screenplay and original screenplay: • Best Documentary Oscar prognosticators are split between the fiendishly talented backup singers in 20 Feet from Stardom and the stomach-churning "gangsters" in The Act of Killing, and so am I. Still, I have to tip the scale toward The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer's gut-punch of a film about the men who carried out the 1965 Indonesian genocide. Oppenheimer and his crew »
- Alynda Wheat, PEOPLE Movie Critic
Watch any sequence of A.J. Edwards’ poetic The Better Angels and the influence of executive producer Terrence Malick is abundantly clear. Edwards’ relationship with the Days of Heaven director started in 2005 when he worked as co-cinematographer on the documentary The Making of The New World as well as co-editor on The New World. Subsequently, he was second unit director and co-director on The Tree of Life, To the Wonder and the upcoming Knight of Cups, starring Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale and Natalie Portman, which Edwards reveals is definitely coming out this year. Thierry Frémaux must be doing cartwheels. The Better Angels, about the early life of Abraham Lincoln, started life as a Malick […] »
- Kaleem Aftab
When learning of yet another film tackling the life of the distinguished American president Abraham Lincoln, you’d be excused for reacting with a mere rolling of the eyes. However, despite becoming a somewhat tired cinematic stomping ground, first-time filmmaker A.J. Edwards, presents his debut feature with a little more ingenuity, tackling the early years of the renowned head of state. Every inspiring historical figure was once a child, and this conveys that notion with a brooding style, and elusive beauty, working as an antidote to Steven Spielberg’s recent endeavour.
Played as a young boy by Braydon Denney with a subtle, yet infectious vitality, we explore his upbringing in the uncompromising Indiana wilderness, with his parents Nancy (Brit Marling) and Tom (Jason Clarke), with the latter a fair authoritarian, to balance out the former’s more progressive, equitable approach. As we attempt to comprehend what shaped this child into »
- Stefan Pape
This is a teaser trailer for the Terrence Malick-produced film The Better Angles, which follows the life of a young Abraham Lincoln. The film was written and directed by A.J. Edwards, and the cast includes Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling, Wes Bentley, and Braydon Denney. Edwards has worked with Malick on films such as The Tree of Life and To the Wonder, and you can see the influence of those in the trailer for this movie.
Indiana, 1817. The entire nation, only 40 years old and a few years removed from a second war of independence, is still raw. Men and women must battle against nature and disease to survive in log cabins. This is young Abraham Lincoln’s world. Spanning three years of the future president’s childhood, The Better Angels explores his family, the hardships that shaped him, the tragedy that marked him forever, and the two women who guided him to immortality. »
- Joey Paur
It may look, sound and feel like a Terrence Malick film, but aside from a producer credit, the upcoming "The Better Angels" is actually the work of editor and second unit director-turned-writer/director A.J. Edwards. But certainly, after logging time on "The New World," "The Tree of Life" and "To the Wonder," he's learned a few things about Malick's approach and has put them to use. Starring Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling, Wes Bentley and Braydon Denney, the black-and-white film tells the story of young Abraham Lincoln, and the events of his youth that would shape the man who would become one of the great Presidents. And while that's a great premise—as our review of the film out of the Sundance Film Festival bears out—this is a lot of style, but with no authorial stamp. As our own Rodrigo Perez wrote, the film focuses "on mood, nature, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Mexican director Carlos Reygadas (Japón, Silent Light) had critics divided with his latest, Post Tenebras Lux (the title is a Latin phrase meaning “after darkness, light”). Met with boos following its premiere at Cannes last year (although it went on to win the Best Director prize), Post Tenebras Lux represents the director’s attempt to make a personal work. This week we sit down and discuss its many unforgettable and ominous images. After we take time to also discuss Terence Malick’s beautiful, compassionate, tragic and transcendent To The Wonder – also booed at Cannes. Joining us this week is Sound On Sight contributor Zachary Lewis – also of In Review Online.
Andy Quin – “Awakening”
Chapel – “Satan’s Rock n Roll
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- Sound On Sight Podcast
Greatly experienced at wearing many hats for most of the recent Terrence Malick projects (he served as an editor on "To the Wonder" and worked on "The New World"), debutant director A.J. Edwards recently premiered his own first feature at the Sundance Film Festival. Starring Jason Clarke, Brit Marling, and Diane Kruger, his film "The Better Angels" is an ethereal retelling of Abraham Lincoln's early life in Indiana. Captivating and breathtakingly beautiful, Malick's influence on Edwards' imagery is indelible throughout the film; yet, it is clear that despite the evident connections he strives to imprint his own vision into the project. Utilizing light and silence as his strongest tools to craft visual poetry, Edwards' historical drama is sure to cement him as one of the most interesting voices to come out of this year's festival and one to keep an eye on in the near future. Could you talk about »
- Carlos Aguilar
There's just time to see all those weighty Oscar-nominated films you never quite got around to seeing earlier. So how come watching so many of them feels like having to do homework?
This is the time of year when everyone is frantically trying to catch up with the Oscar nominees they never quite managed to see: Nebraska; Inside Llewyn Davis; 12 Years a Slave; August: Osage County. You know what I'm talking about. Films of import. Films of substance. Films that demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hollywood has a conscience. Films that star Meryl Streep.
This is no fun. This is homework. Take in more than one of these films in a 48-hour period and your nervous system starts to shut down. The same thing happened with last year's crop: Lincoln; The Master; Zero Dark Thirty. These were all films of import. Films of substance. Films that mattered. »
- Joe Queenan
Amir here to kick off We Can’t Wait!, a week-long series by Team Experience on our most anticipated films of 2014. The title is pretty much self-explanatory. We voted as a group and, starting tomorrow, each of us will cover one of the films that ended up on our top ten 14 list. Before that, however, let’s take a quick look at some of the films that were placed highly on our individual ballots but failed to make the final list. You may remember that I posted my own personal list of most anticipated films in this space previously. Let’s hear from the rest of the Team…
Untitled Public School Project (dir. Baumbach)
Noah Baumbach’s upcoming Untitled Public School Project, starring and co-written with his diligent muse and recurring collaborator Greta Gerwig, sounded to me like Greta-and-Noah’s Up the Down Staircase, a little-remembered 1968 drama in which Sandy Dennis stars as a fresh-faced, »
- Amir S.
Edwards Breathes Malickian Verve Into Lincoln’s Youth
It’s impossible to discuss director A.J. Edwards’ triumphant debut without first acknowledging his association with Terrence Malick. Having worked with the singular filmmaker for over a decade, from documenting the making of The New World, consulting on The Tree of Life and having edited To The Wonder, Edwards seems to have transformed from resolute disciple to artistic descendant, sponging both formal technique and spiritual inflection to create a film that looks, sounds and feels like the work of Malick, yet stands as something new, fresh and fully formed, if not stylistically original. In development since 2007 and still debuting in the wake of a handful of other recent Lincoln films, The Better Angels breathes refreshing verve into the little known story of Abraham Lincoln’s brief, but formative years spent in Indiana.
Exhaustively researched, young Abe’s story is told with an »
- Jordan M. Smith
Working closely under the tutelage of Terrence Malick for several years now, editor and second-unit director turned writer/director A.J. Edwards (who has logged time on "The New World," "The Tree of Life" and "To the Wonder"), might have been better advised to get out from under the shadow of his mentor for his feature-length debut, “The Better Angels.” Instead the fledgling filmmaker is content to bask adoringly under the silhouette of his teacher to the dealbreaking detriment of his first film. Perhaps intended as loving homage, “The Better Angels” instead borders deeply on self-serious parody, virtually utilizing a checklist of every stylistic trope Edwards’ cinematic maharishi uses — hushed ponderous voice-over about the nature of life; that gliding camera; dancing wide-angle shots; jump cuts; dancing in fields; a spiritual connection to nature – and one by one employing them all without a trace of ironic self-awareness. Set in Indiana in 1817, this nature-adoring drama. »
- Rodrigo Perez
Park City is slowly filling with celebs, journalists, photographers and more for the Sundance Film Festival, where over the next week or so, some of the year's buzziest films will make their debut. And one that is already gaining attention is "The Better Angels," because of two words associated with it: Terrence Malick. While it's not helmed by the press-shy director, it does bear his name as a producer, and director A.J. Edwards—who worked on "The New World," "The Tree of Life" and "To the Wonder"—has clearly been influenced by Malick's unique tone and mood. However, while Malick's recent films have tended to explore big idea themes on life and love, Edwards' movie instead takes a look at the life of young Abraham Lincoln (played by Braydon Denney), and the events that formed the foundation of the great man he would become. And in this scene, we see »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Born in California and raised in Texas, A.J. Edwards comes from a background of editing and directing second-unit on Terrence Malick films. His projects include "The New World," "Tree of Life," "To the Wonder," and the upcoming "Knight of Cups." Edwards' first feature film will premiere at Sundance in the New Frontier Film section on January 18th. What it's about: "'The Better Angels' is the story of Abraham Lincoln’s youth in the harsh wilderness of Indiana. It tells of the hardships that shaped him, the tragedy that marked him forever, and the two women who guided him to immortality." What it's really about: "The picture is about love, faith, and hope being the antidote to suffering. It is also about the truth behind the saying 'It takes a village to raise a child.' Lincoln's greatness was shaped not only by his own extraordinary character, but by »
While Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" showed us the president as an already great man striving to do good in a country divided by war and race, the forthcoming Sundance drama "The Better Angels" will look at the events that turned him into one of the most iconic leaders in American history. And under the guidance of producer Terrence Malick, it's sure to be something very special. Directed by A.J. Edwards (who worked on "The New World," "The Tree of Life" and "To the Wonder"), the film is set in the early 1800’s and chronicles three years in the young life of Abraham Lincoln, the tragedy that shaped him and the women who guided him. And in this exclusive clip, we see teacher Mr. Crawford (played by Wes Bentley) share with Abe's mother (Diane Kruger) his view that the young man is already destined for things that will take him far beyond the wilderness of Indiana. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2013—in theaters or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2013 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2013 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch in that perfect world we know doesn't exist but can keep dreaming of every time we go to the movies.
Oh, the irony. While Terrence Malick's two in-the-works features are some of our Most Anticipated Films Of 2014, it's actually a movie he produced, "The Better Angels," that will be coming first. And by the looks of the first footage, even though he didn't direct it, he might as well have (some first look photos here if you missed them). Behind the camera for the film is Malick protégé and collaborator A.J. Edwards (who worked on "The New World," "The Tree of Life" and "To the Wonder") in a film that tracks the childhood of Abraham Lincoln, telling the story of the events that shaped him. And with a teaser and two clips from the film now landing online, in almost every way, it looks like Malick could've directed this, with the same ever moving camera, attention to nature and editing style. Certainly, his fingerprints are felt. Featuring Jason Clarke, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
If there is one thing the film blogosphere has enough of right now, it’s articles about gender/racial inequality in the film business. Whatever the merits of these argument may be, I don’t intend to add to the glut of the Voice of the Internet, a veritable megaphone that already has a natural tendency to act as a perpetual echo chamber as it is. I will then circumvent the typical opening paragraph of most Best Actress previews that inevitably begin with the “not enough strongly written females roles” spiel and cut to the actual field for 2014.
One of the reasons I feel justified in forgoing the traditional Best Actress disclaimer is that, at least compared to the nadir of lead actress roles in the mid-2000′s, this narrative just doesn’t hold up anymore. In fact, there are enough strong candidates for the field this year that mathematically speaking, »
- Christopher Lominac
In order to properly and completely dispose of 2013's worst films, Peter Travers has brought out his sacred scum bucket for one last boo-riddled bonanza. Our film critic kicks off the festivities with Pain and Gain, the latest entry from his number one directorial nemesis, Michael Bay. There may have been two scenes worth watching in this movie about bodybuilders who kidnap a businessman, but the rest was total dreck. At number nine comes Hollywood's bizarre attempt to honor of the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, Parkland, a film »
20 items from 2014
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