Archive for August 3rd, 2016


 © 2016 by James Clark

 Terrence Malick could hardly be called a connoisseur of modern urban life. Over the years the few films he has brought to us have contemplated denizens of social backwaters like the semi-bucolic precincts of his first career as a philosophy/ theology academic, however cut short by realization that the life of a mole is constricted.

His recent film, Knight of Cups (2015), kicks off with a donnish-tone Ben Kingsley, echoing the many Harvard and Oxford dons (especially pertaining to that staunch ruralist, Martin Heidegger) our helmsman would have subjected himself to (before waking up a bit)—and drawing our attention to 17th century divine, John Bunyan, and his best-seller, The Pilgrim’s Progress, with its take on “safe arrival.” With that intoning underway, it promptly gives us a figure who, we see at a glance, is not one of those safe arrivals being touted. He peers about, distractedly, while roaming on a mud flat far from habitation—a perspective intensified by a glimpse of gossamer-green aurora borealis playing over a horizon as seen from outer space.

Another quick early peek of the territory, however, shows us, up close, the morose one while in that wilderness being quite cavalier in operating (as silently presented) a cool sports convertible in the company of two Oriental girls sticking out their tongues and twisting around in pleasure as they zip along one of those palm avenues which automotive Los Angelinos have no problem with. (Malick’s first film, Badlands [1973], featured a pair of zippy motorists in the land of big skies just north of Texas. They were movers and shakers of sorts; but glad to be in the farmlands.) We then become inundated by the first swatch of many flashy architectural towers and palaces and their industrial design concomitants. The accretion of a voice-over reading that aforementioned ancient homily tilts the incongruity to a pressure point readily developing into earthquake proportions. Our protagonist and his variable malaise somehow have been set against this religious action the plain, mundane directionality of which does not seem to coincide with Malick’s deposit of uncanny mysticism, which drove him to tell his Oxford tutor, Gilbert Ryle, he of ‘ordinary language” virtue, to shove his pussy ordinariness up his pussy ass. (more…)

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Bob Clark

Hideaki Anno’s “Neon Genesis Evangelion” is one of the true masterpieces of anime and science fiction as a whole, so it’s little wonder it popped up on the Wonders in the Dark Sci Fi countdown. But what does it have to do with Tony Kushner’s landmark “Angels in America”? I talk about this and a number of other things with fellow Wonders contributor Joel Bocko on the latest CinemaVille


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