“You shall love whether you like it or not. Emotions, they come and go like clouds. Love is not only a feeling; you shall love. To love is to run the risk of failure, the risk of betrayal. You fear your love has died; perhaps it is waiting to be transformed into something higher. Awaken the divine presence which sleeps in each man, each woman. Know each other in that love that never changes.” - To The Wonder (2013)
I can tell from that left-middle frame alone that this film is going to destroy me.
My love for Malick’s films is increasing by the day. I’m glad he’s releasing them more frequently. (And also a little concerned. He releases six films in 40 years, and now he’s got three in post-production. What is going on?)
His films aren’t for everyone. To some they feel heavy handed or emotionally manipulative, and I get that, but they’re just amazing pieces of poetry to me.
Roger Ebert wrote the following about Tree of Life, and it’s become one of my favorite quotes.
“Many films diminish us. They cheapen us, masturbate our senses, hammer us with shabby thrills, diminish the value of life. Some few films evoke the wonderment of life’s experience, and those I consider a form of prayer. Not prayer “to” anyone or anything, but prayer “about” everyone and everything. I believe prayer that makes requests is pointless. What will be, will be. But I value the kind of prayer when you stand at the edge of the sea, or beneath a tree, or smell a flower, or love someone, or do a good thing. Those prayers validate existence and snatch it away from meaningless routine.”
In other Malicky things, I watched Badlands this weekend for the first time. Holy Moonrise Kingdom, Batman. Homage much? It’s almost too exact for me to even call it an ode. Check it out.