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With Knight of Cups, this decade officially becomes the most prolific of writer-director Terrence Malick’s career. Granted, his third film of the 2010s just barely edges out his previous high-water mark of two, reached in the 1970s when he made both Badlands and Days of Heaven. But still: even if Malick’s already-shot next film doesn’t emerge for another few years (it and Cups were shot back-to-back in 2012, the same year their predecessor To the Wonder emerged at festivals after shooting almost two years earlier), it will presumably come out before 2020, and this decade will be the one where Malick increased his filmography by a full one hundred percent.
Watching Knight of Cups, I found myself thinking of Malick’s extended gap time. Not because this movie made me long for another extended sabbatical (and also: more on that later), but because after a movie out on the plains and another movie in the Texas suburbs (and also at the beginning of the universe) and another movie set during the settling (or resettling) of America, here is a Malick movie that takes place mostly in Los Angeles. Malick goes to Hollywood! There’s even a section in Las Vegas. Malick goes to Vegas, guys! And let me tell you: if ever there was a use for Las Vegas, it is Terrence Malick shooting it like he’s making some kind of nature documentary, which possibly he is, because possibly he always is.
Continue reading Knight of Cups: Terrence Malick Does Hollywood