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Official Long Synopsis And Runtime Revealed For Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’

Official Long Synopsis And Runtime Revealed For Terrence Malick's 'Knight Of Cups'

With the Berlin International Film Festival premiere less than a week away — the movie will first screen for press on Sunday, February 8th — more and more details are being rolled out about Terrence Malick‘s “Knight Of Cups.” Over the weekend, producers described the latest from Malick as a “stream-of-consciousness film,” which sounds about right. But there is a plot of sorts, hazy as it is, with the director tackling Hollywood and celebrity excess, with of course, lots of golden hour horizon gazing. And after the somewhat more esoteric short synopsis, a much longer one has been unveiled, painting a clearer picture about the movie. Here you go: 

Rick is a slave to the Hollywood system. He is addicted to success but simultaneously despairs at the emptiness of his life. He is at home in a world of illusions but seeks real life. Like the tarot card of the title, Rick is easily bored and needs outside stimulation. But the Knight of Cups is also an artist, a romantic and an adventurer.
In Terrence Malick’s seventh film a gliding camera once again accompanies a tormented hero on his search for meaning. Once again a voiceover is laid over images which also seek their own authenticity. And once again Malick seems to put the world out of joint. His symphonic flow of images contrasts cold, functional architecture with the ageless beauty of nature. Rick’s internal monologue coalesces with the voices of the women who cross his path, women who represent different principles in life: while one lives in the real world, the other embodies beauty and sensuality. Which path will Rick choose? In the city of angels and the desert that surrounds it, will he find his own way?

So, is this a big long supercut of Christian Bale trying to reconcile a life of beauty and women everywhere with the spiritual and soulful? Sounds like it, but let’s hope there’s more thematic subtext than aren’t-material-things-and-casual-sex-totally-empty. At least Malick will keep things relatively brief — the official runtime for the flick is 118 minutes, making it his second movie in a row under two hours, following “To The Wonder.”

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If there’s a woman spinning in a field of corn, I’m out.



Lord knows i give Kevin & co. a lot of flack for typos and errors, but i think he’s on to something here. i’ve had several chats with friends and acquaintances who have been put off by Malick’s overt Christian philosophy in both Tree of Life and To the Wonder. so much so that two refuse to watch any new films he may produce. i find that logic nonsense, but to each their own. there is definitely a secular backlash, albeit maybe a minor one, by all accounts.


I would like to continue ranting: Why is the term "slow" automatically a negative thing? Also, must a movie always be entertaining? I consider film to be an art form. Art is about so much more than entertainment.


"At least Malick will keep things relatively brief." Ha. It seems the writer is already anticipating this film to be less than great. It seems many these days just want to be entertained in the shortest amount of time possible. Why not condense the Godfather I & II into one neat, tidy 90 minute block. As it stands, it is just far too slow and boring. I mean, do we really need any of that wedding scene? Cut Michael in Italy as well.


Who gives a crap. it gives details about the film that’s all that matters, pedant.


this is a program note written by Berlinale organizer, not an "official" synopsis.


‘Secular" backlash against Malick? What nonsense. I couldn’t be more of an atheist, and yet I love his films, as much for their spirituality as anything. I may not believe in a bit of it, but I love the way he expresses his own belief so honestly, directly and open-heartedly.


Right on cue, there will be this cranky, sighing, millennial, and frankly secular wave of backlash against Terrence Malick. But glad you liked the Super Bowl, kids.

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