Terrence Malick in NYC and LA

David Hudson

Updated through 5/24.

"Each Terrence Malick film concerns a lost or squandered Eden," writes Michael Joshua Rowin in the LA Weekly: "the sleepy suburbia shattered by teenage nihilism in Badlands (1973); the idyllic panhandle farmland set ablaze out of jealousy and disillusionment in Days of Heaven (1978); the harmonious Pacific island transformed into a theater of carnage in The Thin Red Line (1998); America itself in The New World (2005). These are majestic visions of man's relationship to the paradise he longs for — and only occasionally experiences."

On Monday, those lucky bastards in Cannes will be the first to lay eyes on The Tree of Life. Two retrospectives, in the meantime, one on either coast, fan the flames of anticipation. The Elemental Cinema of Terrence Malick opens at LACMA this evening and runs through May 20, with each screening followed by a Q&A with a Malick collaborator: Sissy Spacek and Jim Caviezel, production designer and longtime Malick associate Jack Fisk, and costume designer Jacqueline West.

The series at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York opens tomorrow and runs through the weekend. Matt Zoller Seitz, who cut the trailer above, is, as of this writing, halfway through a series video essays: Badlands and Days of Heaven. The Museum's also reminding us of two essays it ran in 2008: Michael Atkinson on The Thin Red Line and Bilge Ebiri on The New World.

Nick Schager's revisiting the small but powerful oeuvre as well. On Badlands: "Malick's control of his material is masterful, while [Martin] Sheen's pitiless Kit – emboldened by physical comparisons to James Dean — proves a precursor to our sensationalistic celebrity age and Spacek's Holly proves to be something even more disquieting: a vision of cold, alluring, pubescent amorality." And he argues that The Thin Red Line, though it appeared after a 20-year break, "is of a piece with his preceding work."

Updates, 5/14: Matt Zoller Seitz's video essay on The Thin Red Line is now up at Moving Image Source. What's more, he's got a slide show at Salon: "The children of Terrence Malick."

Update, 5/23: Michael Nordine launches a week-long series at Not Coming to a Theater Near You, Another World: Terrence Malick at LACMA.

Update, 5/24: Luke Blackall has a quick profile of Malick in the Independent.

Further browsing: Stuff About Terrence Malick from Coudal Partners. For news and tips throughout the day every day, follow @thedailyMUBI on Twitter and/or the RSS feed.

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