Moments of Grace: The Collected Terrence Malick includes all of his features, some alternate versions, and a preview screening of his new film A Hidden Life
November 15–December 8, 2019
Astoria, New York, November 12, 2019 — In celebration of Terrence Malick’s new film, the deeply spiritual, achingly ethical, and politically resonant A Hidden Life, Museum of the Moving Image presents the comprehensive retrospective Moments of Grace: The Collected Terrence Malick, from November 15 through December 8. The films in the series span a period of nearly 50 years, opening with Malick’s 1970s breakthroughs Badlands (1973) and Days of Heaven (1978), through his career-revival masterworks The Thin Red Line (1998) and The New World (2005), and continuing with his 21st-century films—from Cannes Palme d’Or winner The Tree of Life (2011); the trio of To the Wonder (2012), Knight of Cups (2015), and Song to Song (2017); and sole documentary project Voyage of Time (2016)—through to this year’s A Hidden Life.Two of these films will be presented in alternate versions—Voyage of Time and The New World—a testament to Malick’s ambitious and exploratory approach to editing. In addition to Malick’s own feature films, the series includes Pocket Money (1972), an ambling buddy comedy with Lee Marvin and Paul Newman, which he wrote (but did not direct), and Thy Kingdom Come (2018), the documentary featurette shot on the set of To the Wonder by photographer Eugene Richards.
“I was just reaching for air." These are words whispered by Rooney Mara’s Faye during the opening voiceover in Song to Song, and they are evocative of Terrence Malick’s work in general, in which characters and camera, actors and the filmmaker all reach for the ineffable. Nature, God, love, earthly purpose, notions of permanence and more, remain meaningfully, poignantly beyond our grasp. Malick, like his characters, reaches for this transcendence, and his films are astonishingly beautiful. Marked by crystalline precision, Malick’s images are among the most indelible in contemporary American cinema—a testament to a staggeringly ambitious filmmaker who writes and directs all his features, working with a team of accomplished collaborators including production designer Jack Fisk and cinematographers Néstor Almendros and Emmanuel Lubezki.
The full schedule is listed below and posted online at movingimage.us/malick. The Museum will present a members-only preview screening of A Hidden Life introduced by actor Valerie Pachner, courtesy of Fox Searchlight, on December 4.
Organized by Curator of Film Eric Hynes and Assistant Curator of Film Edo Choi. Special thanks to Nicolas Gonda, Sarah Green, Bob Spletzer of Dolby Laboratories, Gina Glen of IMAX, Nick Newman of Grasshopper Film, and Eugene Richards.
SCHEDULE FOR ‘MOMENTS OF GRACE: THE COLLECTED TERRENCE MALICK’
NOVEMBER 15–DECEMBER 8, 2019
Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $15 ($11 seniors and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / free or discounted for Museum members). Advance tickets are available online at movingimage.us/malick.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 7:00 P.M.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2:00 P.M.
Dir. Terrence Malick. 1973, 95 mins. 35mm. With Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates. Based on the 1958 killing spree of Charles Starkweather and his fourteen-year-old accomplice Caril Ann Fugate, Terrence Malick’s feature debut establishes a singular tone and tempo, in which suspended moments of wonder at the manifested world give way to sudden ruptures of anger and violence. Set amid the vast, repressed landscape of the mid-century west, the film conjures an atmosphere of a fairy tale while maintaining an alternately cosmic and comic distance from its protagonists, the naively passive Holly (Spacek) and callowly rapacious Kit (Sheen), whose desperate progress carries them from the suburbs of South Dakota to the badlands of Montana.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 3:45 P.M.
Dir. Stuart Rosenberg. 1972, 102 mins. 35mm. With Paul Newman, Lee Marvin, Strother Martin, Wayne Rogers, Héctor Elizondo. Two hard-luck cowboys smuggle a cattle herd across the border in this ambling buddy comedy, one of three films penned by Malick in his days as an industry scribe. In need of some fast cash, Jim Kane (Newman) accepts an offer from a shady rancher to escort 250 rodeo cattle from Mexico to the United States. Kane convinces his laidback pal Leonard (Marvin). From the lovingly detailed Texas setting to the ruminative tone, the preoccupations of early Malick are evident throughout.
Days of Heaven
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2:00 P.M.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 4:00 P.M.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 4:30 P.M.
Dir. Terrence Malick. 1978, 94 mins. 35mm. With Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard, Linda Manz. A gloriously realized evocation of turn-of-the-century America as lived by itinerant laborers in the wheat fields of the Texas panhandle, Days of Heaven, much like Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane or The Godfather films before it, is that rare thing in Hollywood cinema—a genuine milestone that redefined how film might give access to the historical past, while establishing new roots in the twin traditions of American literature and philosophy. It is also a romantic tragedy viewed from the perspective of a child, as idiosyncratically personal and regionally specific as it is indescribably beautiful. Legendary cinematographer Néstor Almendros justly won an Academy Award for his work on this film.
The Thin Red Line
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 7:00 P.M.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 3:00 P.M.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 6:30 P.M.
Dir. Terrence Malick. 1998, 170 mins. 35mm. With Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, Jim Caviezel, Ben Chaplin, George Clooney, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Elias Koteas, Nick Nolte, John C. Reilly, John Travolta. Malick’s World War II epic marks not only a professional comeback, but a major turning point in the filmmaker’s art. Adapting James Jones’s novel about the 1942 Guadalcanal campaign, Malick fashions a free-form work of overflowing humanity, of men adrift in the awesome spectacle of the natural world and the horrific theater of a human-made cataclysm.
Voyage of Time: Ultra-Widescreen Version
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2:00 P.M.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1:00 P.M.
Dir. Terrence Malick. 2017, 46 mins. DCP. The culmination of years of filming and decades of preparation, Terrence Malick’s first work of nonfiction attempts to cinematically represent nothing less than the history of existence. From the big bang to suburban sprawl, from the evolution of the species to the devolution of the recorded image, and featuring images both captured and fabricated, Voyage of Time does not lack for ambition, yet it rests on a powerful sense of humble uncertainty in the face of the unknown. This ultra-widescreen version presents the original IMAX cut of the film as a purely audiovisual experience without Brad Pitt’s recorded narration.
The New World: Theatrical Version
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 4:00 P.M.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 7:00 P.M.
Dir. Terrence Malick. 2005, 135 mins. 35mm. With Colin Farrell, Q’orianka Kilcher, Christian Bale, Christopher Plummer. After yet another years-long hiatus, Malick returned with this reimagining of the story of John Smith (Farrell) and Pocahontas (Kilcher) as a transcendental reverie on the clash between civilizations and a romance between individuals on opposite sides of an ethnological gulf. Longtime production designer Jack Fisk (Days of Heaven, The Tree of Life) recreates the Jamestown settlement as a lumber and mud outpost as both a gateway to paradise and cesspool of hell. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, in the first of many transformative collaborations with Malick, invents a whole new way for the steadicam to move, as if flying through the open spaces of Powhatan camps or the closed corridors of Jacobean London. An abundant film that spawned three versions—the Museum presents both a limited-release cut and the original theatrical-release version.
The Tree of Life
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 7:00 P.M.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1, 4:00 P.M.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 7:00 P.M.
Dir. Terrence Malick. 2011, 139 mins. 35mm. With Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Larramie Eppler, Tye Sheridan. A symphonic vision of a boy’s coming-of-age in suburban 1950s Texas, Terrence Malick’s toweringly ambitious, time-spanning Palme d’Or–winner nonetheless retains the intimacy of a personal confession. A middle-aged architect (Penn) scans the memories of his childhood to recover the spirit of his lost brother, only to exhume his troubled relationship with his father (a monstrously vulnerable Pitt) and an idealized image of his mother (Chastain). Malick’s poetic form reaches a new level of refinement here. Aided by D.P. Emmanuel Lubezki, a team of editors, and a classical soundtrack comprised of over 30 pieces from Bach to Mahler, Malick renders each moment of young Jack’s upbringing as a journey through light and shadow, of revelation and mystery, from innocence to experience.
The New World: Limited Release Version
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2:00 P.M.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1, 7:00 P.M.
Dir. Terrence Malick. 2005, 150 mins. 35mm. With Colin Farrell, Q’orianka Kilcher, Christian Bale, Christopher Plummer. After yet another years-long hiatus, Malick returned with this interpretation of the story of John Smith (Farrell) and Pocahontas (Kilcher), a transcendental reverie on the clash between civilizations and the romance between individuals on opposite sides of an ethnological gulf. Following the aesthetic trajectory he established with The Thin Red Line, Malick and his collaborators push the envelope further. Longtime production designer Jack Fisk (Days of Heaven, The Tree of Life) recreates the Jamestown settlement as a lumber and mud outpost as both a gateway to paradise and cesspool of hell. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, in the first of many transformative collaborations with Malick, invents a whole new way for the steadicam to move, as if flying through the open spaces of Powhatan camps or the closed corridors of Jacobean London. An abundant film that spawned three versions—the Museum presents both the wide-release cut and this longer version, briefly released at the end of 2005.
Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 5:00 P.M.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7, 4:30 P.M.
Dir. Terrence Malick. 2016, 90 mins. DCP. Narrated by Cate Blanchett. The culmination of years of filming and decades of preparation, Terrence Malick’s first work of nonfiction attempts to cinematically represent nothing less than the history of existence. From the big bang to suburban sprawl, from the evolution of the species to the devolution of the recorded image, and featuring images both captured and fabricated, Voyage of Time does not lack for ambition. More widely presented in a shorter IMAX version, this feature-length version better resembles Malick’s later works, featuring evocative narration by Cate Blanchett whose voice seems to come from both on high and from within, i.e. everywhere at once. Simultaneously more ambitious than any previous science or nature-oriented documentary—already a grand, macrocosmic genre—yet atypically humble and unstable, with Blanchett’s words often complicating physical evidence with subjective perception and irresolute emotion.
Voyage of Time (Brad Pitt version)
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1:00 P.M.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 6:00 P.M.
Dir. Terrence Malick. 2017, 46 mins. DCP. Narrated by Brad Pitt. This version does not have the fictional narrative elements of Malick’s The Tree of Life, to which this film was apparently once considered a companion, but it remains a spiritually close sibling. It comprises the original IMAX cut of the film with narration recited by Brad Pitt.
Song to Song
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2:00 P.M.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8, 7:00 P.M.
Dir. Terrence Malick. 2017, 129 mins. DCP. With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Holly Hunter. Terrence Malick’s kaleidoscopic rumination on youthful longing is set against the Austin, Texas music scene, where a love triangle between two struggling songwriters (Gosling and Mara) and a music mogul (Fassbender) takes shape and dissolves, leading to formations with new partners (Portman, Blanchett), new anxieties and revelations.
To the Wonder + Thy Kingdom Come
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7, 6:30 P.M.
Dir. Terrence Malick. 2012, 113 mins. 35mm. With Olga Kurylenko, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem. Malick’s under-appreciated follow-up to The Tree of Life marks an era of his work defined by a fidelity to an unscripted, unrehearsed, caught-on-the-wing approach he’d incorporated into his shoots since The Thin Red Line. An American man (Affleck) and a European single mother (Kurylenko) fall madly in love in Paris. Returning with her daughter to his native Oklahoma and the promise of a new life together, the woman quickly grows despondent, the man absent, amid the remote, unpopulated surroundings. Taking up with his former sweetheart (McAdams), the man only grows more distant, while his increasingly isolated partner seeks solace in the councils of a local priest (Bardem). The first of a trilogy of works that turn Malick’s rapturously all-embracing eye upon the contemporary world, this lament for lost lovers finds as much astonishment in the apparition of a Sonic drive-in as Mont-Saint-Michel.
Followed by Thy Kingdom Come (Eugene Richards, 2018, 42 mins.). Shot concurrently with To the Wonder, photographer Eugene Richards’s spun-off collaboration with Javier Bardem, an experimental hybrid of documentary and fiction, witnesses Bardem’s Father Quintana pursuing real-life conversations with the people of Osage County, from myriad family homes to a trailer park, a prison, and a nursing home.
To the Wonder
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2:00 P.M.
Dir. Terrence Malick. 2012, 113 mins. 35mm. With Olga Kurylenko, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem. See above for description.
Knight of Cups
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8, 4:30 P.M.
Dir. Terrence Malick. 2015, 118 mins. DCP. With Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Wes Bentley, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Imogen Poots, Freida Pinto, Teresa Palmer, Isabel Lucas. The second and perhaps most radical entry in the director’s experimental trilogy of improvisatory, gestural films takes place within the restless mind of an angst-ridden Hollywood screenwriter (Bale) who never writes a word, instead embarking on a non-linear odyssey of the senses through the playgrounds of Los Angeles and Las Vegas in search of love, enlightenment, and peace with his past.
Photo: Richard Gere and Brooke Adams in Days of Heaven (image courtesy of Paramount Pictures)
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