A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

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Omensetter
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#76 Post by Omensetter » Sun May 19, 2019 1:50 pm

Song to Song was too choppy for me! Having a To the Wonder (the best filmic depiction of Oklahoma...which says nothing, really) avatar makes up for it.

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solaris72
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#77 Post by solaris72 » Sun May 19, 2019 2:26 pm

Omensetter wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:50 pm
Song to Song was too choppy for me! Having a To the Wonder (the best filmic depiction of Oklahoma...which says nothing, really) avatar makes up for it.
I think FrauBlucher is referring to the links to the reviews being paywalled and not chastising you for only liking 2/3 of Malick's improvisational trilogy. (If it makes you feel any better, this is my favorite misunderstanding of the week, on or offline)

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Omensetter
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#78 Post by Omensetter » Sun May 19, 2019 2:40 pm

Yeah, I like that misunderstanding as well. I was going to link to Tim Robey's Twitter reaction (I hesitate to link to reviews because of spoilers in terms of content and syntax), but it's just "news of the decade for Malick fans, right here".

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FrauBlucher
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#79 Post by FrauBlucher » Sun May 19, 2019 2:47 pm

Image
Some will get, some won't

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Cremildo
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#80 Post by Cremildo » Mon May 20, 2019 12:59 pm


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Persona
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#81 Post by Persona » Mon May 20, 2019 3:12 pm

Cremildo wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:59 pm
Acquired by Fox Searchlight.
Good news!

The general vibe I've gotten from the reviews I've read is that this is kind of high mid-tier Malick. Maybe not on the level of Badlands/Days of Heaven/Tree of Life but the best Malick post-Tree of Life and perhaps a notch above The New World (which I actually really like due to its ending, which I found surprising and quietly powerful).

Anyways, some pieces definitely make it sound like the 3 hours aren't quite earned and there is some redundancy both within the film itself and within Malick's oeuvre, but that's far from surprising and probably expected at this point, honestly.

eerik
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#82 Post by eerik » Mon May 20, 2019 3:13 pm

Cremildo wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:59 pm
Acquired by Fox Searchlight.
Surprised to see that not only hasn't Mickey Mouse shut them down yet, but that they are allowed to spend millions on a Terrence Malick film.

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domino harvey
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#83 Post by domino harvey » Mon May 20, 2019 3:15 pm

On the whole, Fox Searchlight makes money, there’s no reason to expect it to shutter

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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#84 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon May 20, 2019 3:54 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:47 pm
Image
Some will get, some won't
*raises hand*

My handle partly comes from one of their songs
Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Wed May 22, 2019 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Finch
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#85 Post by Finch » Mon May 20, 2019 3:58 pm


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Finch
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#86 Post by Finch » Mon May 20, 2019 4:18 pm

And we now have confirmation of what language they actually shot this in:
The actors enjoyed Malick’s habitual ways of working: long, uninterrupted, improvisational 20-30 minute takes that were filmed in German-accented English and some German back in 2016
Pity they didn't shoot this entirely in German. This would have added greater verisimilitude, and it's a personal pet peeve of mine when English is used as a substitute for the native language of a film's or show's characters and the writers still insert bits of the native language in (like the Elvish sections of LOTR being filmed in a half-assed compromise of English and Elvish). It breaks the spell for me.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#87 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon May 20, 2019 7:55 pm

solaris72 wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:26 pm
Omensetter wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:50 pm
Song to Song was too choppy for me! Having a To the Wonder (the best filmic depiction of Oklahoma...which says nothing, really) avatar makes up for it.
I think FrauBlucher is referring to the links to the reviews being paywalled and not chastising you for only liking 2/3 of Malick's improvisational trilogy. (If it makes you feel any better, this is my favorite misunderstanding of the week, on or offline)
Omensetter wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:40 pm
Yeah, I like that misunderstanding as well. I was going to link to Tim Robey's Twitter reaction (I hesitate to link to reviews because of spoilers in terms of content and syntax), but it's just "news of the decade for Malick fans, right here".
flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 3:54 pm
FrauBlucher wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:47 pm
Image
Some will get, some won't
*raises hand*
I figured you would get it flyonthewall.... the answer is here

Now back to topic at hand....
Finch wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 4:18 pm
Pity they didn't shoot this entirely in German. This would have added greater verisimilitude, and it's a personal pet peeve of mine when English is used as a substitute for the native language of a film's or show's characters and the writers still insert bits of the native language in (like the Elvish sections of LOTR being filmed in a half-assed compromise of English and Elvish). It breaks the spell for me.
I agree about English replacing the native language being disappointing. I thought it was going to be 100% German or close to it. I'd be curious about what Malick's thought process was for that

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Finch
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#88 Post by Finch » Mon May 20, 2019 9:52 pm

The cast is multi-national so perhaps he figured it's easiest for everyone to try speak in German-accented English instead of getting the non-native German speakers to speak in German. I gather from one review that the language heard in the background is German so there's still a weird dissonance going on.

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furbicide
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#89 Post by furbicide » Tue May 21, 2019 9:20 pm

Yeah, it's a pretty ridiculous decision in this day and age – at least old-school films like Doctor Zhivago went the whole way and had all the characters speak in questionably-accented English!

https://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sig ... luss-story
Most peculiar is the use of languages. Whenever anyone shouts or has bad things to say it’s always in German, whereas the voiceovers and anything gentle or kind are in English. This problem is particularly pronounced in the trial scenes where the Nazi prosecutors scream in German while the more reasonable Judge Lueben (Bruno Ganz, who got a sigh of sad appreciation when he came on screen) speaks English to Jägerstätter. (To be clear: both are meant to represent Germans and Austrians speaking their native language.) Obviously, to Malick, good and evil speak different languages.
That's not just underestimating the intelligence of the audience; it's actively offensive.

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Finch
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#90 Post by Finch » Wed May 22, 2019 12:19 am

At least one German reviewer (Suechsland who was a Malick supporter) felt that Malick's portrayal of farm life was too one-note perfect and they echoed the complaints of some American reviewers like Dowd that the film is too repetitive. The more I hear, the less excited I get about this film, and I love everything Malick made up to and including The Tree Of Life.

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Persona
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#91 Post by Persona » Wed May 22, 2019 10:59 am

Yeah, it's gotten a good share of positive reactions and yet I feel my enthusiasm waning, and I've been really looking forward to it since it was announced years ago. Hope it works for me whenever I get to see it. I wasn't expecting a leap forward or anything but I was kind of hoping that given the subject matter/setting, working with a script, and so on, Malick might have found a way through the sort of aesthetic/schematic rut he created for himself in defining his brand too specifically yet perfectly with Tree of Life and then trying to keep his subsequent films on that brand when their content doesn't merit it. Tree of Life should be a singular thing, really, and the films that follow it seem a little foolish and quaint trying to share a moment, if you will, with a work that is simultaneously Malick's most epic, reaching film but also his most personal. I don't hate his films post-Tree of Life but they don't do much for me and I understand why people feel like he's been basically parodying himself the past several years.

This language thing with A Hidden Life is very confusing to me. Given the nationalities of the cast and the fact that the movie was never going to have much commercial viability in the States, I don't really get it at all. I can only assume that Malick doesn't know German and so the English is for his own benefit as the writer-director? But then that doesn't seem really in keeping with how Malick usually operates, so I have to think that there is some (probably ill-advised) artistic intent behind how language is used in the film.

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Fiery Angel
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#92 Post by Fiery Angel » Wed May 22, 2019 11:16 am

While he was at Harvard, Malick traveled to Germany, met Martin Heidegger and translated his The Essence of Reasons, so I'd assume Malick has at least some knowledge of German.

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Persona
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#93 Post by Persona » Wed May 22, 2019 11:20 am

There you go, seems like there was some intention behind the decision. Just very weird, though, because I can't imagine Malick had major commercial aspirations for the film and he cast mostly German/Austrian actors. So... yeah, just don't get it.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#94 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed May 22, 2019 11:42 am

Well, considering it sold for $14 million to a major industry distributor, it would seem that — Malick's own commercial aspirations or artistic motivations notwithstanding — someone sees it as a viable commercial/awards release.

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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#95 Post by dda1996a » Wed May 22, 2019 11:45 am

Plus he could have submitted his film for the International Film Oscar we're it in German

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domino harvey
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#96 Post by domino harvey » Wed May 22, 2019 11:47 am

Back to furbicide’s post, I think already deciding Malick is writing off all Germans based on one critic’s reading of a film none of us have seen yet is probably not a great idea

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Persona
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#97 Post by Persona » Wed May 22, 2019 12:51 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 11:47 am
Back to furbicide’s post, I think already deciding Malick is writing off all Germans based on one critic’s reading of a film none of us have seen yet is probably not a great idea
I haven't seen anyone making that assumption in this thread. Or at least, speaking for myself, I am not making that assumption at all. The reports are just a bit befuddling, if accurate.

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domino harvey
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#98 Post by domino harvey » Wed May 22, 2019 12:55 pm

I don’t see how else to read furbicide’s response under the excerpt they posted, but I welcome clarification if that was not their intent

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Finch
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#99 Post by Finch » Wed May 22, 2019 12:58 pm

It'd be interesting to know if Malick ever considered having his script translated into German by a native speaker, and if so, what the reasoning was for going with English as the "main dialogue" or whether his producers stipulated it be English for commercial viability and they arrived at a compromise. Maybe an interviewer will ask one of the actors or someone else involved in the production to shed some light on that in a future piece on the film.

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Persona
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Re: A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick, 2019)

#100 Post by Persona » Wed May 22, 2019 1:08 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 11:42 am
Well, considering it sold for $14 million to a major industry distributor, it would seem that — Malick's own commercial aspirations or artistic motivations notwithstanding — someone sees it as a viable commercial/awards release.
A fair point and, yes, I was very surprised at the amount they paid.

With no star name recognition at all for U.S. audiences, plus the length/subject matter/Malickian style, it seems basically a foregone conclusion to me that it's not going to do well here. Maybe Fox Searchlight is banking on American progressives getting behind the film because of some of the more timely aspects of its "message," but aside from that who's really going to go see this movie besides fans of Malick?

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