Day 357: Knight of Cups (February, 29)


I usually feel weird  when someone asks me about my favorite movie, book or song. Fortunately, this kind of question is getting more and more unusual under the ongoing notion nowadays that our affections change from time to time and that what makes a great sense today couldn't not mean the same some time after. 

Some things stay forever, though. They are a part of our own free from any idea of time or place. In movies, Terence Malick is one of the ever present filmmakers in my life. If not the most beloved one in fact.

I got this idea after being amazed by the first two of his movies I've saw, years ago. Now it is a certain thing. I thought strongly about his filmed poems last week during The Revenant and the failed Iñarritu's attempt of bringing to the screen the same magical universe from Malick's, beautifully pictured with the aid of his usual cinematographer, Emmanuel Libezki (who won a Oscar last Sunday, by the way). So, I thought it was finally time to reach the last Makick's film, Knight of Cups

It didn't even featured on the theaters in my town. It is a real shame, because Malick is for big screens, loud sound systems, alone time in a dark room. However, on this day I thought how his movie can overcome any adverse circumstance. I was hangover after too many per martinis on the Oscars night, sleepy. It was morning, a car outside my flat was playing The King nonstop (not Elvis, Roberto Carlos,). I hit the play on the DVD and that was the end of anything else around me.

After a few moments, though, I realized this one was a movie for the night time. So I come back to it later, after a busy day. 

I don't know what happens with me during Malick's movies. They make such a sense to me. His non chronological narrative, his way of telling a story not by facts, but through feelings and thoughts is stunning. Knight of Cups is being referred as a part of his "spiritual series", that had begin in The Tree of Life and In Wonder. In this movie, there's a kind of continuity in fact, it is possible to identify what links this movie to the other two. It is the spiritual and material journey of a man: what it is perpetrated through generations since the Big Bang; love; work; the world. Specifically in this movie, LA and the Hollywood life.

The men in these films go through all this as if they're dreaming - and this analogy is more explicit here, with the story of a prince that goes on a journey and, being victim of an evil plot against him, forgets who he is and spends his life sleeping. The man's journey on earth is a kind of a sleeping life, one in which he can forget who he truly is - in another words, his divine self. it is so beautiful if you don't try to make a factual sense of it. There are facts, actually, they just not told in a linear or chronological way. They are part of the man's life, and sometimes we can identify ourselves solely with those events. But we are not it, and that's why we vague on earth like dreamers unaware of our true selves. It's not for nothing that Malick's movies gave me a sense of meditation.

I was tired, sleepy, but even so I couldn't turn away from this movie. In fact, I wanted to be there for a long, long time, even if it is anguishing at times, regarding how inside Christian Bale's journey we are kept the whole time (by the way, the whole cast is amazing, and we find Cate Blanchet and Natalie Portman and brief but strong roles). I was entirely still throughout the final credits, thinking how amazing it is to have something in my life reaching my soul in such an accurate and beautiful manner. My gratitude to Malick has no end.

Fun fact: Right after the movie ending, I thought that Malick had already worked with Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck and Christian Bale on this series. The next sensible choice would be Michael Fassbender. Reading about Malick's next movie, Weightless, related to this one according the final credits, I wasn't surprised to see Fassbender in its cast - with the incredibly bonus of Benicio Del Toro :)

Kinght of Cups. Directed and written by Terence Malick. Cast: Christian
Bale, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchet. USA, 2015, 118 min., Dolby Digital, Color.

PS: In the imdb.com trivia about this movie, there's the descripition of the Knight of Cups tarot card. It is a simple portrayal, but not bad at all.

PPS: The Thin Red Line (1998) is one of the most amazing movies of all times, in case you haven't seen it - I don't use to affirm such a thing lightly. It marked the return of Malick to films after a gap fo 20 years since Days of Heaven (1978).


  1. Wow. I'm so intrigued. I've had this film for a while now, but have been waiting for the right time to watch it. But after reading this, and also an article that narrates how insanely awesome the shoot was ( http://www.businessinsider.com/thomas-lennon-terrence-malick-knight-of-cups-2016-2 ) I'm thinking the right time has come. But maybe I'll do as you suggested and watch Tree of life and In wonder first. But I gotta say, I'm very intrigued.

    [ j ]

    1. I hope you'll love Malick as much as I do. I see by some comments that he is not an unanimity, but for me he is outstanding. Absolutely amazing, beautiful, a master of filming thoughts and that part of life and people that we don't usually see.
      I know you're not a big fan of war movies, but you should reach The Thin Red Line, it is one of the most stunning and heartbreaking views of war and the people involved in it - and with an stellar cast.