Terrence Malick

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"You don't want something to look too staged in movies or they look overly presented. You don't know what comes out . . . You don't know what you have at the end of the day." That was Terrence Malick during a rare public appearance at SXSW last month, on the occasion of the premiere of the Austin, Texas–set Song to Song. Although the film nominally follows characters through the city’s music scene and features the likes of Patti Smith (for a few minutes) and John Lydon (for 10 seconds), it doesn't seek to document a milieu so much as evoke the breadth of human experience in all its tactility and transience. Needless to say, there's a lot to discuss, so this episode of The Film Comment Podcast thoughtfully considers Song to Song and Malick's artistic output. FC Digital Producer Violet Lucca mulls it over with contributors Shonni Enelow, English professor at Fordham and author of Method Acting and Its Discontents, and Nick Pinkerton, member of the New York Film Critics Circle, in a conversation covering Malick's experimentation with free-associative forms, the 19th-century influence on his worldview, his depictions of gender, and how the critical discourse surrounding his work often reflects subtly different philosophies of art and criticism.

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