Song to Song

Song to Song ★★★★★

Malick's post-TTOL deconstructionist narrative trilogy has very little do to with the notion of traditional "character" or "character development" and more to do with utilizing human bodies as avatars to convey psychological complexities of the collective unconscious, not so much representative of individual people as representative of models embodying a slice of the autobiographical pie. His method is fundamentally opposite to how we're meant, or how we've been taught, to perceive "character" or the presence of bodies & minds on screen; rather than observing the whole of an individual, a complete picture of a person, and re-tracing our steps to uncover the smaller, more intimate psychological details of the individual's inner clockwork (the popular "character approach"), we're instead presented with those intricacies head-on and, from the smaller, experiental units & emotional complexities, we're asked to form the tossed aside, simpler shell of the "character," their entirety, what we've been schooled to believe is the necessity or bulk of a human being's cinematic personality, but what is really just skin which, once shed, leaves room to comment on not only the individual of focus but, through them, on their environment and the culture which has shaped them (and vice versa).

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