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Why Terrence Malick Still Believes You Should See Movies On the Big Screen

The reclusive director made a very rare public appearance where discussed his influences and filmmaking in the digital age.

“Voyage of Time”


Highly acclaimed American auteur Terrence Malick has made more films in this decade than in the past forty years. His latest film, “Weightless,” starring Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, and Natalie Portman, is set to be released in early 2017. Over the past couple years, Malick has unexpectedly become one of our busiest directors. His ambitious documentary “Voyage Of Time” recently finished a festival run and debuted in select theaters, and he has just finished filming a World War II film entitled “Radegund.”

Though his recent surge in production — hardly something he’s been known for in the past — has certainly brought his name back to the mainstream discussion, Malick has remained notoriously removed from the public eye.

READ MORE: ‘Voyage of Time’: How Terrence Malick’s VFX Team Achieved Truth and Beauty

That’s what makes his public appearance at Princeton University’s Garden Theater such a significant event. Malick agreed to speak after a special screening of Roberto Rosellini’s 1954 classic, “Journey to Italy,” and while Malick did not attend the screening, he offered his insights into the film afterward.

"Voyage Of Time" Malick IMAX

“Voyage of Time”

The reserved director went on to discuss his mixed feelings regarding filmmaking in today’s digital age. During the talk, he expressed enthusiasm at how readily available filmmaking has become, but was concerned over the growing propensity to view films on handheld devices and away from his beloved big screen.

READ MORE: Terrence Malick Reveals New World War II Drama ‘Radegund,’ Starring August Diehl

As The Film Stage notes in their comprehensive coverage of the event, “he indicated great enthusiasm for the capacity of cheap and easily available HD cameras to democratize the form, making entry into image-making almost as easy as writing. Likewise, he’s taken an interest in the opportunity for new images and movements that can be captured by digital equipment, specifically naming the GoPro camera…[but] he was adamant about the unique and irreplaceable power of the big screen to realize cinema’s full capacity.”

As is often the case with Malick, there’s more to the material than meets the eye. Check out the rest of The Film Stage’s report for more of Malick’s insights into the past and future of his chosen craft.

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