It has to be said that I have sadly seen too few trailers of late that differentiate themselves, elevate the game or mean anything. That doesn't necessarily mean that there aren't many good films on the way just that - I haven't seen many exciting trailers. But late last year I was bowled over by the trailer for Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups in fact the first five shots from the trailer had me absolutely stunned as his use of sound and visuals enthralled me.
First a little context as to how we got here may be in order Knight of Cups is the third in Malick's epical (in the true sense of the word) allegorical exploration - of modern man in the throes of existential angst as he comes to terms to modern life and moves down a path further from nature or Supernature and himself.
We have had Jessica Chastain, Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in The Tree of Life (2011) symbolically bridging the generational gap (from The Thin Red Line 1998) and heralding Malick's move into the modern era. Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem in To the Wonder (2012), Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman and Christian Bale in Knight of Cups set for release this year followed up by his currently untitled project Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman Texas Music film.
|Knight of Cups|
A screenwriter living in LA tries to make sense of the strange events occurring around him.
Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Imogen Poots
Which led to Malick independently making his seminal feature Badlands in 1973 starring Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen.
I am acutely aware that Malick has worked on 4 films in the last 5 years (not including his upcoming IMAX documentary - Voyage of Time), for a man that averaged a film every 5 years with a 20 year gap between his second film Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, whilst Malick was seemingly went missing, more likely wandering, living and writing.
The point here being I suspect that this prolific run may end at any time and Malick may disappear to ponder his next film, so sooner rather than later would be an appropriate time for me to explore the poetic genius of Terrence Malick or least try take a look at the the first five attention grabbing shots from the trailer of Knight of Cups and let my stream of consciousness freestyle as it scrapes the surface of Malicks works. Terrence Malick's films always have my curiosity, but after the first five shots, Knight of Cups has my attention.
To accompany your reading of this post I have embedded a playlist of tracks inspired by Terrence Malick's the Knight of Cups soundtrack. It is comprised of some of the tracks from the Extended Soundtrack of Knight of Cups, available alternate versions of some of the tracks as well as periphery music. More information on the Knight of Cups extended soundtrack can be found in the playlists description on YouTube.
|PLAYLIST: Music inspired and included in Terrence Malick's the Knight of Cups Extended Soundtrack|
Chris Wisniewski on Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven and The New World:
Those rambling philosophical voiceovers; the placid images of nature, offering quiet contrast to the evil deeds of men; the stunning cinematography, often achieved with natural light; the striking use of music—here is a filmmaker with a clear sensibility and aesthetic who makes narrative films that are neither literary nor theatrical, in the sense of foregrounding dialogue, event, or character, but are instead principally cinematic, movies that suggest narrative, emotion, and idea through image and sound.
|Terrence Malick's Tree of Life Review|
|Man of Steel Trailer Analysis|
|The Dark Knight Rises Trailer Analysis|
|Take Shelter Review|
Some may say Malick's works are charged with symbolism I would put forward that actually his films are merely beautiful metaphoric vehicles to draw our attention to the unseen - I believe all his works are of the form is content school of thought and imprinted with an intricate system of allegorical elements connected across his works but also bridge the real, celluloid and natural worlds.
The casting of the Dark Knight in a film called Knight of Cups is no coincidence, sure the inclusion of Christian Bale's talent won't do the bottom line any harm but is Malick saying something about our obsession with fantasy and superheroes? Bale afterall plays Rick a screenwriter - a person that creates the fantasy.
Anonymous voice over: No one cares about reality anymore,
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups trailer 1:10 Tarot Cards Frame|
Below is an excerpt from Tarot Decoder Interpret the Symbols of the Tarot and Increase Your Understanding of the Cards by Kathleen McCormack which gives some background on Tarot and a comprehensive summary of possible interpretations of the Knight of Cups tarot card.
Medieval artists equated them with the four cardinal elements - fire, earth, air, and water - and with the four seasons - summer,spring, fall, and winter. These were associated, in turn, with the Hebrew letters IHVH, or Jehovah (seen as the conscious energy from which the universe was created).
The four suits were also thought to derive from the four sacred objects of the Grail legends: the sword, dish, lance, and cup. Others believe they derived from the four classes in society, with Cups representing the Church...
In the 15th century a French knight, Etienne de Vignoles, adapted the minor arcana to create the game of piquet. Our modern pack, which is derived from his, has Hearts in place of Cups, which gives the suit the connotation of love and happiness...
...Cups denote water, emotions of love and pleasure, the subconscious, fertility and beauty.
Notice the fish and water pattern on his tunic?
|Knight of Cups Trailer Tarot Card|
|Knight of Cups Trailer 1:46 Christian Bale Knight of Cups|
Knight of Cups Trailer dialogue - Rick (Christian Bale): All of those years living the life of someone I didn't even know
Knight of Cups Trailer dialogue - Nancy (Cate Blanchett): You are different these days. What's going on with you?
In a reading, the Knight of Cups may be telling of someone who is looking for direction in life and one who often lives in a fantasy world. This person has materialistic conflict and all of their relationships have karmic ties.
Knight of Cups Trailer dialogue - Rick (Christian Bale): I can't remember the man I wanted to be.
Knight of Cups Trailer dialogue - Herb Hollywood Executive (Michael Wincott): Let me tell you about you. I want to make you rich.
Knight of Cups Trailer dialogue -Della (Imogen Poots): You don't want love. You want a love experience.
The description accompanying the official trailer reads thusly:
Rick's father used to read this story to him as a boy. The road to the East stretches out before him. Will he set forth?
Like a tarot card or rorschach blotter the poster for Knight of Cups is full of meaning attuned to nature, spirituality, astrology, mysticism, occultism, Kabbalah and religion. Featuring what I initially assumed were different planes of existence from the high light (Light Of Majesty) to the dark lower (Dark World) as well as our earthly plane of existence (Solar World) with paths running to either Paradise or Fire World.
In the centre a palm tree growing upwards through the planes - which may be referenced in Rick's voice over in the trailer.
Rick (Christian Bale): ... you see the palm trees.
Consider the radiating fronds bursting forth at the very height of a towering climb. The head of the palm is visually comparable to our glowing sun-star, and so many symbolic meanings of the palm are related to solar attributes...
'Tis true, sun symbols are predominantly masculine in their energetic tone. However, the palm shares its symbolic gender with succulent female qualities found in the fruit it bears.
And so, we see this scenario with symbolic eyes: The erect, towering trunk representing the phallus - male power rising into action - followed by a flowering, expansive fireworks display of long supple leaves nestling an offspring of rich, nutritious fruits. Beautiful symbolism, isn't it? This is a snapshot of how our forbears viewed the palm, and why it is an icon for fertility and unification.
In alchemical traditions, the palm tree is a symbol of androgyny as it possesses the perfect integration of both male and female attributes. This is an alchemical achievement - to be wholly, pristinely balanced - equally united with polarity.
This androgynous concept plays out in the esoteric archetype of the High Priestess found in the Tarot. Indeed, the palm tree is depicted in this card and here demonstrates the intent of the Priestess to amalgamate the realms of seen and unseen - mixing them into a whole vision with a goal to dispense for the betterment of humanity.
To Assyrians and Egyptians the palm is considered a tree of life. It was sacred to Ishtar and Ashtarte as well as to Nut and Hathor. These deities utilized the palm tree nectars to keep the dead in a semi-animated state while they awaited their fate in the Underworld. Sometimes the fruit of the palm would keep these souls in this state of undead forever. The date palm is also associated with the sun god Ra, as a resurrection figurehead.
Indeed, Christians adapted the palms as a symbol of resurrection (victory over death through the union with Christ). Palm fronds were lain on the path walked by Christ as he entered Jerusalem.
Palms were also strewn out as a red carpet welcoming returning Roman warriors from battle. They are also laid out to welcome returning pilgrims to the Holy Land. In these examples, the palm tree symbolism conjures elements of attainment, welcoming, and all the wonderful qualities we associate with the soul's return to its Source.
As dream symbols, palm trees symbolize our ability to rise above conflict and spread our light brilliantly - letting it shine over the din of petty concerns - rising above disillusionment like the sun itself. Palms in dreams may also be a message for us to resurrect aspects of ourselves. In resurrecting these parts, we become a more whole entity.
After some research my understanding is that the planes of existence are actually states of the eternal or immortal soul and before man reaches Paradise he has to pass through hell.
From the base of the tree the words "Soul, Will, Spirit" are inscribed up the trunk. "Soul" is written in black "Will, Spirit" in white. Presumably the Soul starts off in a negative or void state and with the application of good "Will, Spirit" moves up light path to Paradise.
A secondary branch has the words "Will" written in black I again presume if the "Will" is applied negatively or weakley the soul moves up through the dark path to Fire World.
Roger Calverley discusses the Tree of the Soul in his 2007 book Crystal Yoga I: The Crystal Mesa:
The poster is in actuality an illustration plate by Dionysius Andreas Freher an alchemist, writer and student of the visionary (literally) German theologist and mystic Jakob Böhme or Jacob Boehme entitled the The Tree of the Soul and originates from the William Law's English edition of Boehme's 4 volume series of books called The works of Jakob Behmen, the Teutonic theosopher.
Maverick Boehme drew from Hebrew, Kabbalistic, Christian, Neoplatonist, Latin and German alchemical texts as well as his own mystical experiences. His works were hugely influential in many areas of thought and he counted many leading thinkers as his students including Sir Isaac Newton, such is his influence that he has inspired creatives as varied as William Blake, William Turner, C. S. Lewis, Cormac McCarthy, Elizabeth Gilbert.
From Bryan Aubrey's thesis on The influence of Jacob Boehme on the work of William Blake:
The fall of man has now been traced to its lowest point. He is caught in the Satanic wheels of the Angst, deluded by single vision and the darkness of Vernunft [reason], and lost in the clouds and smoke of the material world. However, the setting of the limits has given hope; fragmentation and despair can endure only for a time, and the divine body continually seeks to reclaim that which has been lost. Now therefore, the ascent to the Divine Vision can begin, initially through a consideration of the fires of Generation and the redemptive work of Los, leading into the moment of the lightning-flash.
It will be useful to look first at the Freher diagram entitled 'The Tree of the Soul' (Fig. 4), some copies of which were in colour, and which appeared in volume one of some copies of the 'Law edition'. It shows four circles, each of which intersects the one above it.
|The Tree of The Soul Dionysius Andreas Freher|
This may well have strengthened Blake's identification of Ulro with the dark world, as John Beer has suggested. Beer also conjectures that this diagram may have given Blake a framework in which to develop his ideas of the four states of being, or levels of vision. It is noticeable that Freher separates the fire world from the dark world, just as in Blake, the fires of Generation represent a higher state than Ulro.
It is also of interest that at the base of the fire world circle, and behind the tree which passes through it, is what appears to be a rising sun, shedding forth beams of light.
It recalls a number of Blake's designs where a prophetic figure is shown with the sun of the Divine Imagination rising behind him. In Boehme, it is the fourth property, fire, becoming active on the fourth day of creation, which produces the sun of the outward world (Mysterium Magnum Ch. 13).
In Jacob Boehme: A Lexicon of his Terminology Wayne Kraus determines that Jacob Boehme's Three Principles equate to the following:
2nd Principle – Light World - pleasure, or delight
3rd Principle – Fire World - proceeding, or outgoing
As referenced by Aubrey above, in his book Blake's Visionary Universe, John B. Beer discusses The Tree of the Soul a little further:
In another design (fig. i)3' this pattern is worked out more fully. This design, which is entitled 'The Tree of the Soul', shows four states, partly co-ordinated by the structure of a tree which passes through the first three of them. The tree has its roots in a representation of our solar system which is entitled `Dark World'. Its trunk passes through the flames of a state which is entitled 'Hell', while its branches spread out in a still higher state which is entitled 'Paradise'. Over and above the tree as a whole there appears a fourth circle entitled 'Light of Majesty', which contains symbols representing the Deity.
It is evident that this design expresses more fully the idea shown in the first. If the unfallen soul enjoys the Light of Majesty, the fallen soul exists in descending states, of light, of heat and of darkness (Paradise, Hell and Dark World), each diminished by its separation from the others.
The idea that there exist various states of the soul is of course common in Christian theology, but Boehme differs from the usual tradition at two points. Firstly, he places the 'physical' universe not, as in medieval theology, between Heaven and Hell, but beneath both of them. Secondly, he makes a separ-ation between Heaven and Paradise which suggests that Para-dise is itself an inferior state, not to be equated with Heaven. The latter idea falls in with Milton's cosmology, but not with those orthodox conceptions that virtually identify the two states.
|The Establishing Shot: TERRENCE MALICK'S KNIGHT OF CUPS TRAILER - 24 MARCH|
The entire 1 John 2:16 minute trailer is rife with the Malick-isms or the symbolism, visuals, tropes and themes that we have come to know him for and sometimes serve as inspiration for other filmmakers. But with the four of the five shots from the first ten seconds of the Knight of Cups trailer Malick seems to reverse that trend as he draws on other filmmakers iconic visuals to convey and reveal a pattern central to the theme of Knight of Cups and possibly a larger message dressed up in his tale of a Hollywood writer living the dream.
Anonymous voice over: No one cares about reality anymore,Knight of Cups trailer Shot 1: The metaphorical tunnel or path
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups Trailer 0:07 Tunnel from darkness|
Rick (Christian Bale): All of those years...The opening shot of the trailer is telling, not only is it a great transitory Establishing Shot accompanied by hallucinatory sound of a song called Let Tomorrow Burn from Boomerang! but it tells us that, like the young prince in the story from Rick's father someone is going on a journey (path). Presumably screenwriter Rick (Christian Bale) who we see in an open top car flying through the tunnel. Kind of synchronistic if you have read my breakdown of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises trailer featuring Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne as well as other characters amid various metaphoric or proverbial tunnels or paths. And paths, gates and doorways are certainly a central theme to Malick's existing visual language.
But that was not the first thing that struck me, although it does become pertinent later on when we see the tunnel again in the penultimate shot of the trailer - echoing the visuals of Christopher Nolan's perceived journey for Bruce Wayne.
The first thing that struck me is the similarity between Malick's tunnel shot and the scene of Harrison Ford's Rick Deckard driving through the 2nd Street Tunnel in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.
A story about identity as told through a man lost in a giant technological and architectural future too big for him. At the core of the tale he (and mankind) are in a struggle with what is real and what is not.
|Ridley Scott Blade Runner Rick Deckard 2nd Street Tunnel (ZOOM)|
|Knight of Cups Trailer animated Tunnel|
For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
Knight of Cups trailer Shot 2: The inefficacious fan
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups Trailer 0:10 Fan|
This shot can surely not be a coincidence as it echoes arguably the most memorable shot of a ceiling fan ever committed to film - symbolically showing us the unquenchable heat (fire) and turmoil a man is undergoing. Even the music is a nod to Walter Murch's ghostly fade in fade outs of the sweeping Apocalypse Now helicopter blades.
Editor extrordinaire Walter Murch on creating the sound for Apocalypse Now in an interview with Michael Sragow for Salon.com
The beginning of the film was a trigger for the psychic dimension of the helicopters. Later on, when you get into the attack on the village [when Robert Duvall's ramrod Col. Kilgore tries to clear a VC-held coastal town], it’s dramatic and it’s fantastic, but it is fairly much “what you see is what you hear.” Whereas at the beginning of the film it’s some drunken reverie of this displaced person, Willard, who is trying to bring himself back into focus. There are fragmentary images of helicopters, then he comes more and more back into his abysmal reality — this stinky hotel room in Saigon — and we get the fan.
We share Rick's view of a ceiling fan which is the same point of view as that of Martin Sheen's disillusioned Benjamin L. Willard in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now and if there is ever a man undergoing crises Ben Willard is that man.
Martin Sheen played Kit in Malick's first and seminal film Badlands - 6 years before he was Willard in Apocalypse Now and Sheen's on and off screen crises at the time of filming Apocalypse Now may have personal significance for Malick.
We could go a little further with this and read into it that the fan signifies a force of nature and an omen of change as the winds of change are arising. There are many more symbolic, religious and mystic meanings to wind as it is equated to the element Air and a symbol of the Holy Spirit. A wind coming from above could signify the spirit's breathe on Rick, reminding us that nature and supernature are everywhere.
Excerpt from the Holman Bible Dictionary on Wind.
The natural force which represents in its extended meaning the breath of life in human beings and the creative, infilling power of God and His Spirit.
Early Concepts Two words in the Bible — the Hebrew ruah and the Greek pneuma — bear the basic meaning of wind but are often translated as spirit. Some uderstanding of the development of the latter word clarifies this transfer in meaning and enriches the concept.
Pneuma originally represented an elemental, vital, dynamic wind or breath. It was an effective power, but it belonged wholly to the realm of nature. This force denoted any type of wind and ranged from a soft breeze to a raging storm or fatal vapor. It was the wind in persons and animals as the breath they inhaled and exhaled. It was life, since breath was the sign of life; and it was soul, since the animating force left when breathing ceased.
Metaphorically speaking, pneuma could be extended to mean a kind of breath that blew from the invisible realms; thus, it could designate spirit, a sign of the influence of the gods upon persons, and the source of a relationship between humankind and the divine. In primitive mythology, this cosmic wind possessed a life-creating power, and a god could beget a son by his breath. The divine breath also inspired poets and granted ecstatic speech to prophets.
In all of these reflections, wind remained an impersonal, natural force. When we come to the Judeo-Christian understanding, however, the concept and terms retain their dynamic characteristics, but rise from cosmic power to personal being....
... Theophanies, or manifestations of God, were often associated with the wind. God answered Job out of the whirlwind (Job 38:1 ), and the four living creatures appeared to Ezekiel in a strong wind from the north (Job 1:4 ).
...Wind was a symbol of transience (Psalm 78:39 ), fruitless striving (Ecclesiastes 1:14 NRSV), and desperateness ( Job 6:26 ).
Wade M. Hughes, Sr a man of the cloth has derived hidden meaning from the directions the winds blow in the new testament.
|Knight of Cups Trailer animated Fan|
Knight of Cups Trailer Shot 3: The TV / media as ILLUSIONARY frenemy escapism
|Terrence Malick night of Cups trailer 0:12 Christian Bale TV|
Rick (Christian Bale): ... living the life of someone...The underlying theme of a man in crisis is a little more oblique. But there is an unmistakable visual reference to Tobe Hooper's back to the camera shot of Heather O'Rourke's Carol Anne Freeling under the influence or attack by something that comes through her TV in Poltergeist.
|Knight of Cups Heather O'Rourke & Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist TV (ZOOM)|
Rick is both the creator of fantasy and beholding to it's illusion.
But there is a secondary iconic visual that echoes both the TV/media as a diversion message as well as the man in crisis theme - which comes courtesy of Bob Geldof's Pink in Alan Parker's Pink Floyd The Wall from the Pink Floyd album of the same name.
Anonymous voice over: No one cares about reality anymore,
|Pink Floyd The Wall Pink Bob Geldof TV (ZOOM)|
|Pink Floyd The Wall Pink Bob Geldof TV (ZOOM)|
|Pink Floyd The Wall Pink Bob Geldof TV Still (ZOOM)|
|Pink Floyd The Wall Pink Bob Geldof in deep water (ZOOM)|
TERRENCE MALICK TREE OF LIFE MASK ILLUSION falls IN WATER
|Terrence Malick Water Element Life Motif (ZOOM)|
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups trailer Water Element (ZOOM)|
Production Designer and Malick regular Jack Fisk on working with Terrence Malick:
Some of it is just playing in the grass. And a lot of it Is the river, the Colorado, which went around the location. We were always going down to the river. For Terry, it's an important symbol of life, I think, rivers and any kind flowing water...
There are also 6 shots featuring which could be false water presumably symbolic of the world Rick lives in, two portentous shots: a disturbing water under darkness shot from under Santa Monica pier (there is a body hidden in the surf) with design similarities to the dark side of the Tree of the Souls. As well as a shot of Rick and Wes Bentley's Barry, visibly shaken in the dry Los Angeles River that could be echoing the patent Malick surreal man in crises wandering lost in “purgatory” shot which we do get a proper look later on in the trailer.
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups trailer False Water (ZOOM)|
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups trailer Real Water False Water (ZOOM)|
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups Trailer 1:53 Dark Underworld Roots (ZOOM)|
Pvt. Jack Bell: [voice over] We. We together. One being. Flow together like water. Till I can't tell you from me. I drink you. Now. Now.
|Knight of Cups Still: Christian Bale and Natalie Portman at the beach (ZOOM)|
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups Trailer Real Water False Water (ZOOM)|
With regards to union it looks like Cate Blanchett's Nancy and Natalie Portman's Elizabeth get real natural sea water, even Isabel Lucas' Isabel and Teresa Palmer's Karen get a beach look in whilst Imogen Poots' Della seems to only gets artificial water.
Della (Imogen Poots): You don't want love, you want a love experience.
There are also striking visuals of a young boy, who I assume is Rick along with Rick's narration:
Rick (Christian Bale): I can't remember the man I wanted to be
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups Young Rick Hope (ZOOM)|
Rick (Christian Bale): I was free when I was young. Free [Tree] of life.Which comes full circle when a disillusioned Rick sees a young boy enamoured in an aquarium.
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups Trailer 2:02 Rick young boy Aquarium|
Rick (Christian Bale): Remember
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups trailer 2:02 aquarium|
"That which we call at present four elements are in fact not elements, but merely qualities of the one true element."
- Three Principles, xiv. 54. - Jacob Boehme
- The Threefold Life of Man, v. 105. - Jacob Boehme
Much of the elemental symbolism I believe conveys Malick's faith in a higher guiding hand in our world and man at odds or lost from this nature or super nature seems to result in modern man in crises.
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups trailer water motif|
Elemental imagery infuses Malick's work: earth, air, fire, water. The meanings of these images are too various to lend themselves to easy classification, but some associations recur.
Earth signifies communion the concord of the workers at the harvest in Days of Heaven, or Linda's fantasy of her future in the same film: "I could be a mud doctor . . . Talk to the trees. In dreams they'd talk back to me."
Air signifies transcendence, the "aerial aspirations" that the characters incline toward, and that Malick's wide shots of open sky yearn to promise.
Fire means redemption, of sorts. Principle of a Yeatsian "terrible beauty," the fire that consumes Holly's house in Badlands or the fire that follows upon the plague of locusts in Days of Heaven brings a catharsis that promises a new liberty, a release (fig. 13). But the promise is short-lived: redemption inflicts evasion, transcendence entails failure, communion implies catachresis.
For many artists, a turn to elemental imagery marks a return to fundamental things, a stripping away of inessentials. For Malick, the essential is as much part of a complex as any other idea. Stripping away only reveals further notions for contemplation, and Malick's images, in one of their dimensions, are nodes of thought.
Water may be the most suggestive element in this pattern, for Malick associates it repeatedly with death, especially with the martyred deaths of vulnerable or helpless parties. The shooting of Holly's dog in Badlands, the killing of Bill in Days of Heaven, and the death of Witt in The Thin Red Line describe an arc of related imagery across the three films... For an instant, the film wants to fantasize his death as a reversion to primordial happiness, but the next shot cuts off this optimism—it shows Witt's grave. Fire, air, water, earth: harbingers of life, all resolve in death.
|Knight of Cups trailer Christian Bale TV animated|
Knight of Cups trailer Shot 4: Back to the camera shot as man moves down or follows a path
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups Trailer 0:13 One Point Perspective Back to the camera Rick Path Hollywood|
The back to the camera one point perspective - down a path is as at home in Malick's visual lexicon as anyone else's and it does tie in with the very first and penultimate shot of the trailer of Rick moving through a tunnel. In the shot we see Rick walking through a studio backlot reinforcing the lost in an illusion theme again.
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups Back to the camera gateways, doorways & paths (ZOOM)|
But it is possible that Malick is accessing a shared minds eye and his visuals referencing elements he shares with someone else? And in particular another famous cinematic writer that loses his way in a maze of his mind?
|Stanley Kubrick One Point Perspective Back to the camera path (ZOOM)|
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups Trailer One Point Perspective Back to the camera Rick Path Hollywood animated|
It is not completely outside the bounds of possibility after all Terrence Malick and Stanley Kubrick access a similar visual palette with a penchant for mysterious symbolism tapping into much larger significance than is seen on screen.
An anonymous writer has outlined his theory of associations between the seven qualities, planets and humoral-elemental aspects from Jacob Boehme's first unfinished book Aurora (Morgen Röte im auffgang) below are two:
- 4. Fire - Sun/Moon - night/day; evil/good; sin/virtue; Moon, later = phlegmatic, watery;
|Terrence Malick Stanley Kubrick similar themes (ZOOM)|
|Terrence Malick Stanley Kubrick Eye of Horus, Eye of Providence, Illuminati Knight of Cups (ZOOM)|
|Terrence Malick Stanley Kubrick Eye of Horus, Eye of Providence, Illuminati Knight of Cups (ZOOM)|
The Kubrick Eye of Horus imagery above comes from Hollywoodsubliminals.com where you can find a plethora of other images and insight from the Dark Side of the Moon.
Knight of Cups trailer Shot 5: Pensive Man out of nature in crisis
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups Trailer 0:14 Rick Christian Bale City Cage|
Before we descend into the Hollywood, 80s Interview Magazine, Warhol, MTV, chrome & black leather, Barcelona chairs, La Dolce Vita collage and the first credit popping up.
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups trailer 0:16 seductive illusion (ZOOM)|
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups Trailer 0:20 Open your eyes|
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups pensive man shot (ZOOM)|
An additional theme that seems to recur in these shots is how our architectural wonders could also be seen as a cage or a trap closing in on our men in losing sight of the bigger picture.
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups trailer architecture cages motif (ZOOM)|
It is this very similarity, this convergence of silences, that for me makes the film’s obsessive questions come alive. “What’s this war at the heart of nature? Why does nature vie with itself?”
Possibly this has more to do with man out of nature becoming increasingly lost and a companion piece to the purgatory-esque landscapes Malick's characters are seen wandering in. Which we get a proper look at later in the trailer.
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups Trailer purgatory landscapes motif (ZOOM)|
Rick (Christian Bale): Find a way from darkness to light.
There was a poor Soul that had wandered out of Paradise and come into the Kingdom of this World; where the Devil met with it, and said to it, Whither dost thou go, thou Soul that art half blind?
|Terrence Malick Knight of Cups Trailer 2:02 Tunnel Darkness to Light|
|Knight of Cups Trailer 0:20 Written and Directed by Terrence Malick|
Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups will be in UK cinemas from 1 January 2016
The Establishing Shot: ART OF THE TRAILER: THE FIRST 5 FRAMES FROM TERRENCE MALICK'S SPELLBINDING TRAILER FOR KNIGHT OF CUPS THAT HAVE ME WAITING FOR THE FILM - WATCH THIS!
|Craig is a retired superhero, an obsessive hobbyist, comics fan, gadget lover & flâneur who knows an unhealthy amount about Ian Fleming's James Bond.|
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