Malick’s Wonder and Abrams’ Darkness

Earlier I wrote about the Star Trek: Into Darkness trailer, and the limited toolbox with which J.J. Abrams directs his films. I’m not trying to bring down J.J. Abrams. I do like his work. But it’s a fair assessment to say he lacks fluency in the language of film-making.

And that becomes quiet obvious when you see what a truly accomplished film director can do. Even in a trailer. Today I watched the trailer for the upcoming Terrence Malick film, To The Wonder. Malick is on the short list of American directors who have truly mastered the language of cinema.

Anyway. At about the middle of the To The Wonder trailer this image appears (click to embiggen).

to the wonder

A simple, elegant, beautiful image. This is shot composition from a thoughtful artist, capable of freezing on a single moment in time and telling a story in a single image.  When I see a shot like this, I am reassured that these hands are capable of assembling something special. For Malick, this is not unusual. The standards are high, the frame matters, and the audience is rewarded.

There has never been a single lens flare, stern-faced fight or panoramic explosion in any of J.J. Abrams film that has compared to this single image from a Terrence Malick film that has yet to be released.

To The Wonder:

Previously: When Star Trek was Star Trek


One response to “Malick’s Wonder and Abrams’ Darkness

  1. Pingback: the Abrams-ification of American genre-fiction | Third Ten Million Years·

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