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Film Feature: Terrence Malick Retrospective Lights Up Music Box Theatre

Chicago – The cinema of Terrence Malick has been a process of discovery, for its director and his devoted audience. His work is fueled by spontaneous miracles, typified by the moment when an illuminated cloud formation creates an image of astounding, temporary beauty. His films aren’t just breathtakingly brilliant and hauntingly provocative. They’re also curiously soul-cleansing.

Malick’s fluid gaze and restless imagination requires an adventurous cinematographer to assist him in fully exploring the world of his movie during production. Nature itself becomes a major character on his canvas. The filmmaker makes no secret about his love for the trunks of towering trees, the movement of the wind through tall grass, the look of bodies underwater. His childlike reverence for earthly creations is utterly intoxicating, and has routinely reawakened my own awe of existence. Yet beauty also takes on an ominous quality, providing an ideal hiding place for menace.

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