Director Terrence Malick is a fascinating character, who becomes more deeply intriguing with each passing year. This was a filmmaker whose initial films, "Badlands" and "Days of Heaven," heralded him as a bold new talent, capable of just about anything. After "Days of Heaven," he took twenty years off, before returning for the ethereal war movie "The Thin Red Line" (a masterpiece that had the misfortune of opening the same year as Steven Spielberg's much more accessible "Saving Private Ryan"). After the Oscar-nominated "Thin Red Line" he took off another ten + years, before coming back for "The Tree of Life," a movie he had been working on, intermittently, since 1978 (when the project was known as "Q"). Since "Tree of Life" he has barely slowed down – he shot and released autobiographical romantic drama "To the Wonder," and shot two films back-to-back in 2012, while continuously working on his IMAX documentary (and "Tree of Life" companion) "Voyage of Time," to be narrated by Brad Pitt and feature an uncanny mixture of visual effects and nature footage).
One of those movies he shot in 2012, entitled "Knight of Cups" and starring Christian Bale, is about to premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. And a brand new trailer has just debuted online. It's incredible.
There are always bits and pieces that leak from the notoriously secretive Malick's shoots, and we think that this is the one that concerns an executive in the music industry (played by Bale) who has something of a breakdown. The official description is typically enigmatic: "Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep. Rick's (Christian Bale) father used to read this story to him as a boy. The road to the East stretches out before him. Will he set forth?" Pretty self-explanatory, right?
The trailer is full of Malick hallmarks: existential voiceover, beautiful women yelling, and hazy cinematography (by longtime collaborator Emmanuel Lubeszki) so gorgeous that you might tear up. The movie costars Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Frida Pinto, Wes Bentley, Isabel Lucas, Terese Palmer, Imogen Poots, and "the voice of" Ben Kingsley (yes, that's seriously how he's credited).
While American distribution has yet to be secured, the rights should go pretty quickly out of Berlin. This is a must-see of 2015.