Posted on December 15, 2010 at 7:06 pm in Movies | RSS feed
So are you in agreement that Malick is basically the patron saint of cinema? I feel that his films are above reviews at this point because each one of them is basically immediately written into film history and thus immune to the need for immediate relevence.
I more or less agree. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I would argue that Malick’s films are art without being “art films” . . .
I’ve been in a lot of discussions recently with people sort of centering around this whole idea of “art films” or the need to distinguish certain pieces of entertainment by calling them ‘art’. Some people seem to think it intimidating and elitist, and also pretentious, so they end up loathing someone like Malick out of some kind of jealousy or inferiority complex. But I really think there is nothing high handed about calling his films art or art films. It’s really just a way to say that he is one of a few people in this world who is in the position to use film to do basically whatever he wants within a certain budgetary restriction and without the express goal to make money. I don’t see why this is a bad thing. and I don’t think it means that there is not artistic value to things are intended primarily to make money, (the new TRON movie is intended to turn a huge profit and it also looks very cool) but I think we can all tell the difference between the goals of a film like Tree of Life and one like Marmaduke.
Sorry, yr getting the blunt of a lot of arguments I’ve been having. I guess basically calling them art or art films shouldn’t really matter other than as a way to clarify what sort of films he makes, but if calling them that makes other people not want to see them then i guess we should say something else. Maybe just that they are ‘good’ films…
They are definitely good films!
I think that part of the problem/resistance to Malick comes from the traditions of the “art film,” which is basically an institutionalized form at this point. For most people, “art film” connotes pretentious, non-narrative, overly-conceptualized pieces.
Personally, I don’t really care what Malick’s films get called, but as a semi-critic of sorts, it helps to be able to describe them (simply because I want people to see them). I think that they are art, or Art, and not Pop Art, or commercial art. They are maybe nature films, the same way that Herzog makes nature films. They are, significantly, narrative films.
But, like you say, most of all they are good films. Excellent films. Glorious films. I think The New World might be my favorite.
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