Religious Ideas In Malick 's Films Research Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 3 Type: Research Paper Paper: #40386293 Related Topics: Main Character, Cell Phone, Film, Love Published September 22, 2022
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Editing in Malicks To the Wonder

One of the interesting approaches Terrence Malick takes to making cinema is that he often wants the viewer to experience the film rather than simply observe it or watch it. He wants the film to have an impact on the viewers emotions, mind, and memory. To accomplish this effect in his 2012 film To the Wonder, he relies on editing to create an experience for the viewer that is unlike anything else one might have experienced previously in a cinema. Since the film is a story about a European Catholic woman trying to find happiness in her life while at the same time trying to set herself right with God, Malick wants the viewer to experience what this struggle is like for the main character Marina. He wants the viewer to see the world through her eyes, hear her voice, and understand where she is coming fromand especially why the conflict is such an enormous one for her. On the one hand she wants earthly love, and on the other she wants to live the faith she has been taught, which tells her to look for happiness in the eternal world of the next life. The two impulses within her pull her in two different directions, and Malick wants the viewer to experience and to feel that pull. Malick is not interested in simply telling a story about the struggle: he wants it to be real to the viewer, and to make it real he uses various editing tricks, which jar the viewer and keep the viewer off balance and on the edge of the seat. Malick makes special use of the montage technique to convey psychological and emotional feeling rather than to give spatial or temporal sense. With the montage technique, editing is used in To the Wonder to create an impressionistic film that gives the viewer the sense of being in or part of the experience of the main characters. This paper will look at the opening and ending montage sequences in particular as they help to show how Malick uses the montage to convey the important sense of longing at the heart of the film.

The first scene in which editing is most notable is in the opening of the film when the viewer is introduced to the main characters, Marina of France, and Neil, an American with whom she is in love throughout a montage of romantic images that pour across the screen. The film opens with them on a trainbut the viewer is seeing Marina through Neils cell phone as he captures her image on his phone. It is not a normal cinematic lens that puts us into their world; rather, it is a cell phone lens, suggesting a more personal and yet distant feeling: we are pulled inbut we do not know who these people are and feel like strangers in their world. That is purposeful on Malicks part: his own characters are strangers to themselves as the film will show. The opening scene tells as much as Marina explains through voice over that her new love, Neil, has awakened her. Marina describes her life up to now: Newborn, I open my eyes. I melt into the eternal night. A spark.You got me out of the darkness. You gathered me up from earth. Youve brought me back to life, as Neil records her image and she dances for him on the train. Malick is showing that she feels alive for the first time in a long time, but that she is hurtling somewhere, ignorant of direction and destination, merely happy to feel joy. She…them through his own humble submission to the divine.

The film ends with Marina now on her own in the final montage sequence: she lifts herself from the groundnow in a foreign land, far from Neil in America. She is on her own spiritual pilgrimage. She is nourished by the dew drops on thistle, and she is accompanied by a tiny doglike Dorothys Toto in The Wizard of Oz. The dog carries a little light, to help her see the way, but on the horizon is a foreboding pack of wild dogs. They represent the wild spirit that Marina is prone to abandon herself to. She tries to wave them away and becomes overwhelmed in the process. Then a blinding light flashes across her eyes, and she is forced to look in the direction of the light. Malick uses a smash cut to bring the image of the Wonderthe old churchto the viewer. Then the film fades to black and credits roll, as Wagners music reaches a crescendo and fades. The montage sequence described here is the final one that Malick uses to make the viewer experience what it is like to be on that spiritual pilgrimage, alone, trying to move in the right direction, but being distracted by cares and concerns and needing to be reminded over and over again that the ultimate destination is not any passing happiness or allurement in this world but the eternal reward that awaits the faithful in heaven. That is the experience that Malick wants the viewer to have, and it is evident through his use of montagefrom the beginning, opening montage in which the conflict is revealed: two ideals pulling Marina in two directions; to the middle montage in which Marinas crisis comes to a head; to the concluding montage when a resolution is reached and…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Blasi, Gabriella. "The cinema of entanglement: how not to contemplate TerrenceMalick’s To the Wonder, Voyage of Time, and Knight of Cups." New Review of Film and Television Studies 17.1 (2019): 20-37.

Goodman, Daniel Ross. "To the wonder." Journal of Religion & Film 17.2 (2013): 13.

Hamilton, Julie M. "“What Is This Love That Loves Us?”: Terrence Malick’s To theWonder as a Phenomenology of Love." Religions 7.6 (2016): 76.

Malick, Terrence. To the Wonder. Focus Features, 2012.


Cite this Document:

"Religious Ideas In Malick 's Films" (2022, May 19) Retrieved October 6, 2022, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/religious-ideas-malick-films-research-paper-2177368

"Religious Ideas In Malick 's Films" 19 May 2022. Web.6 October. 2022. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/religious-ideas-malick-films-research-paper-2177368>

"Religious Ideas In Malick 's Films", 19 May 2022, Accessed.6 October. 2022,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/religious-ideas-malick-films-research-paper-2177368

Related Documents
Religious Field Research -- Interview With a
Words: 1790 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 30859919

Religious Field Research -- Interview with a Mormon There are many myths and misunderstandings about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints -- also known as Mormonism -- that are based in many cases on a lack of knowledge. The misunderstandings are also the result of the fact that the Mormon faith is -- to the traditional Protestant, or Catholic, or Muslim or Buddhist or Jew -- somewhat mysterious.

Religious Preference Affect Opinion Sex Marriage
Words: 860 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality Paper #: 79254391

Religious preference affect opinion sex marriage.. Religion has a strong influence on how people perceive the idea of sex before marriage, as while some religions consider it wrong to perform the practice others support it or are indifferent with regard to it. The fact that most world religions express an opinion concerning this matter reflects on society as a whole as there are numerous individuals who believe that it is morally

Religious Developments in Asia Showing
Words: 1630 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 86255983

Therefore, policy initiatives and public resources are primarily confined to basic religious beliefs and practices. This has lead to a serious imbalance in social, political, and religious developments. Asia has already realized the rapid expansion in the religious sector hence the need to expand social and political developments. The region has noticed that religion is essential for social and political growth. It is also equalizer in the allocation of

Religious and Secular Authority the
Words: 1629 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 96167990

Although religious and secular authority have been in conflict practically since religion was first formalized into specific institutions and centers of power, the evolution of religious authority which occurred after 1500 set the stage for the conflicts of the contemporary world by distributing religious authority to the religious populace, rather than a small group of priests and leaders. By imbuing each individual member of any given religion (but mostly

Religious Changes in China for
Words: 1673 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 49404945

The worship of Mazu shares many elements with other types of Chinese folk religions. Mazu was based upon a historical figure and is said to play a protective role over the people in her region; in Mazu's case, she is said to protect fishermen (Lim 2010). She was worshipped for over 500 years in China, so that many elements of her worship are traditional parts of culture. However, the modern

Religious Traditions Include Laws, Beliefs, Doctrines and
Words: 1358 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 83417120

Religious traditions include laws, beliefs, doctrines and regulations that are found within a specific religion. They are a collection of belief systems and cultural systems which establish symbols that show and establish a relationship between humans and their spirituality. Religious traditions are handed down from generations to generations with significant events being viewed as part of historical time focusing mainly on conduct and behavior. These traditions are either true or