A few thoughts on Terrence Malick. One of the few active film makers who is attempting to use medium of film in entirety to convey message. Meaning - his films are not entirely driven by the screenplay. Music/photography equally important. Examples:
There are frequent references to Christianity that are not overt - no Joel Osteen moments waiving a bible around. Rather, an image conveys it. Thus in A Hidden Life, about a Christian who rejected Hitler, many scenes show wheat being separated from chaff. Many critics missed this
Music is used effectively to create a mood that bolsters power of photography. Thus in "New World," opening scene showing discovery of America has Wagner's Rheingold overture in background, and Indian women swimming in water like Rhein maidens. Powerful scene of discovery.
In Tree of Life, lead character (Brad Pitt) is frustrated musician turned mediocre businessman. Brahms is used in scenes both to show frustration, and also to soften this otherwise stern father figure, who flirts with violence.
Frequently there are long sections where the actors do not speak at all. Instead, sweeping landscapes are shown to convey a sense of wonder (Days of Heaven, To the Wonder). Or dark, confined spaces give a sense of despair/claustrophobia (Hidden Life).
War footage is first rate. Thin Red Line is the obvious example, where the initial rush up the hill into Japanese machine gun fire is at least as good as Saving Private Ryan. But New World battle scenes between whites/Indians are extraordinarily effective as well.
His use of Wagner is not an accident. His films are efforts at creating the Gesamtkunstwerk (complete art form), where photography, music, acting and writing all come together, all enhance one another.
This is also why so many actors say they wouldn't work with him again. Christopher Plummer was pissed at how his character was cut in New World. Actors think it's all about them. They don't realize they are just a piece of the puzzle. Demoting them is refreshing.

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More from @FischerKing64

11 Jun
Short thread - technology and music. Would be easy to see advances of electronics as causing downfall of classical music tradition and rise of rock and noise. That isn’t it. It’s rise of media and democracy that’s the problem. Some proofs:
Instrumental music largely didn’t exist until 1500s. Was entirely vocal and religious. Joaquin and Palestrina main exemplars. How did independent instrumental music arise? First as an accompaniment to vocal music - masses and madrigals. What then?
Opera emerged. First major opera masterwork is Monteverdi’s Orfeo in 1607. He collected 40 instrument players for his ‘orchestra.’ But they did not play as an ensemble. Listen to the overture - it’s a jumble. What next?
Read 12 tweets
29 Sep 20
1/ Thread on the Tax Code in light of this Trump stuff - the basic problem is not with any individual provision or "loophole." The problem is in the sheer complexity of the code itself, which allows accountants and lawyers to combine various provisions...
2/...all of which may be legitimate in themselves, to generate massive, illegitimate tax savings. These combinations of provisions are typically called a "tax shelter." This term is misleading to the layman, because he tends to think of it as something relatively simple that only
3/...rich people can access. This is not quite right. You must be rich to take advantage of a tax shelter transaction, but that is because they are highly complex constructions that take sometimes years to develop, and a lot of professionals must be paid to create them..
Read 19 tweets
7 Jul 20
@MedvedSHOW - Thread 1/ - you ran down Robert E. Lee again today. Here’s what you said about him in 2003: ‘Robert Duvall similarly shines as Robert E. Lee, bringing to crackling life the dignity, poetry and ruthless edge of this legendary commander.’ wnd.com/2003/02/17395/
2/ you also used to really admire Stonewall Jackson: ‘Maxwell focuses most of his attention on the single fascinating figure of "Stonewall" Jackson..Maxwell chooses to concentrate on the general's human qualities rather than his undeniable military genius...’
3/ ’the result is a film that should appeal to women as much as men, to history fanatics as well as those who don't know the difference.’
Read 9 tweets
11 Jun 20
1- Irony of ironies: Cops are now afraid to interact with black people. They are compensating by pulling over whites and asians for speeding, expired car tabs, etc.
2 - So the very people who pay the taxes that pay the cops, and are the least dangerous among us, now have the most interaction with cops, while the criminals among us are left alone.
3 - And this is all because the cops are AFRAID to do the job they are actually paid to do. They may like just pulling over white guys in nice cars, because they know they won't get shot. But the people who need them are mostly black women in bad neighborhoods.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun 20
1 - What happens when you eliminate a professional police force? Hard to say because it’s rarely done. I know of one case. After Germany invaded Denmark in 1940, it disbanded the Danish police force in 1944 and replaced it with an ineffective ‘watch force.’
2 - Something similar to what we are hearing about now, where social workers or some other community group will pick up where the professional police left off.
3 - Here is a source: ‘ A somewhat similar situation occurred in Denmark when the German occupation forces arrested the entire police force in September, 1944. During the remainder of the occupation period all policing was performed by an improvised unarmed watch corps, who...
Read 7 tweets

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