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Paul Schrader Writes an Anatomical Review of Terrence Malick’s ‘Song to Song,’ and It Doesn’t Involve Thumbs

Maybe he's more of a "Badlands" guy?

"Song to Song"

“Song to Song”

Whether talking about his own work or that of other filmmakers, Paul Schrader has never been one to mince words. Last night, the critic-turned-filmmaker reminded everyone who follows him on Facebook of his critical bent by sharing a very brief, very negative review of Terrence Malick’s latest: “If you could photograph the unwanted urine which dribbles from an old man’s penis you would have a film titled Song to Song.”

READ MORE: ‘First Reformed’ Photos: Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried in Paul Schrader’s Upcoming Thriller

The film — which stars Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman — takes place in and around the Austin music scene. Reviews were mixed, which is typical of recent Malick fare; IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote that “there’s plenty of intrigue to the dissonance of a hard-rock lifestyle and Malick’s gentle touch, but much of the movie’s potential is overshadowed by the impulses of a director unwilling to get there.”

READ MORE: Terrence Malick Vows to Return to More Structured Filmmaking: ‘I’m Backing Away From That Style Now’

Still, there’s reason for fans of Malick’s earlier films (like “Days of Heaven,” “The Thin Red Line” and “The Tree of Life”) to be hopeful. In a recent discussion, Malick said that he’ll be moving away from the freewheeling approach of his last few movies: “As a movie director, you always feel with a script that you’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole,” he said. “And with no script, there’s no round hole, there’s just air. But I’m backing away from that style now.”

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