No matter how advanced VOD and the digital distribution market gets, the vagaries of North American distribution remain a thorn in cinephiles’ sides. Case in point: Knight of Cups, the latest melodrama from Terrence Malick, which premiered in 2014 but will not see release stateside until 2016. This is highly unusual for an American director, but considering this is Terrence “I directed Badlands” Malick, one would think a company would have stepped up by now to make sure this gets out as soon as humanly possible. That’s ignoring that this is also a movie that stars money-making alpha-actors ranging from Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett to Natalie Portman and Antonio Banderas, supported by no less than Wes Bentley, Brian Dennehy, Imogen Poots, Isabel Lucas, Nick Offerman, Freida Pinto, Jason Clarke, Ben Kingsley, Joel Kinnaman, and Shea Whigham.
A new behind-the-scenes video shows a number of these actors being interviewed about working with Malick and their characters in Knight of Cups, and also gives those unfamiliar with Malick’s thrilling style a sense of why studios looking for a bit more homogenized product haven’t exactly warmed to Malick. Sure, The Tree of Life received a major release, as did The Thin Red Line, but both Knight of Cups and his previous, brilliant feature, To The Wonder, struggled to secure timely distribution. From the look of the footage seen, the film will deal as much with the excess and wonder of celebrity as it does with familial rifts, with Bale’s character seemingly feuding with his father (Dennehy) and troubled brother (Bentley) while romancing a number of women, played by Portman, Poots, Pinto, and Blanchett. There’s no real point in discussing the plot of a Malick film that much, which is probably another reason that big studios haven’t totally embraced the director, as his films are more denoted by the boldness of his camerawork, with dips, swirls, and dances around the characters in unbound, rapturous movement. And now, we must wait even more to see the whole thing for ourselves.
Here’s the behind-the-scenes featurette for Knight of Cups: