Having the imprimatur of one Terrence Malick on your film, especially as executive producer, is never a bad thing. Director Carlo S. Hintermann, who makes his narrative feature debut with “The Book of Vision” after several documentaries, worked with Malick as second unit director on the Italian shoot of 2011’s “The Tree of Life.” Now, Malick has helped the Italian-Swiss filmmaker shepherd this latest project. “The Book of Vision” is set to open the Venice Film Festival Critics’ Week, and it has a first trailer. See below.
Here’s the synopsis: “Eva, a promising young doctor, leaves her brilliant career to study History of Medicine in a remote university. Now is the time for her to call everything into question: her nature, her body, her illness, and her sealed fate. Johan Anmuth is an 18th Century Prussian physician in perpetual conflict between the rise of rationalism and ancient forms of animism. The Book of Vision is a manuscript that sweeps these two existences up, blending them into a never-ending vortex. Far from a proper scientific text, the book contains the hopes, fears, and dreams of more than 1800 patients. Dr. Anmuth truly knew how to listen to his patients, whose spirits still wander through the pages, life and death, merging in a continuous flow. The story of Anmuth and his patients inspire Eva to live her life to the fullest. Nothing expires in its time. Only what you desire is real, not merely what happens.”
Hintermann directs an international cast including Charles Dance (“Game of Thrones”), Lotte Verbeek (“Outlander,” “The Borgias”), Sverrir Gudnason (“Borg vs McEnroe”), Isolda Dychauk (“The Borgias,” “Faust”) and Italian actor Filippo Nigro. The art was created by Lorenzo Ceccotti, aka LRNZ, who also served as the concept visual designer of the film. “With this film I tried to capture and isolate the transcendent and immanent vision of nature, which swarms outside and inside the body, always changing like the soul,” LRNZ said.
Speaking to Variety, Hintermann described “The Book of Vision” as “a game of mirrors between two dimensions” with time jumps “inspired by the type of storytelling in video games.” The director also described the movie as a cross between “Barry Lyndon” and “Labyrinth.”