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percy-l - Re: [percy-l] Terrence Malick and Percy - Review Essay of the film "Knight of Cups and the Spirituality of Sleaze" (Bret McCracken)

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  • From: "Beck, David A" <dabeck AT>
  • To: "wppdirector AT" <wppdirector AT>, "Percy-L: Literary and PhilosophicalDiscussion" <percy-l AT>
  • Subject: Re: [percy-l] Terrence Malick and Percy - Review Essay of the film "Knight of Cups and the Spirituality of Sleaze" (Bret McCracken)
  • Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2016 23:40:51 +0000

I haven't seen the movie yet. It opens here either this week or the next. So I can't say whether it moves from the aesthetic to the ethical and to the religious. Certainly Tree of Life moved waaay beyond the aesthetic.

Malick is my favorite director. The article is interesting. As Henry Mills said, it has a tentative beginning; I would say a misleading beginning. At first, I thought he was going to slam the film. He seemed to have an issue with the "debauchery" parts. But then he turns and directs his criticism to our culture and its inability to see the mystery right under our noses. He goes on to defend TM and his approach to film making.

Certainly the Percy allusions are spot-on. TM seems to be onto the search, especially in his last few films. But the article, as interesting as it is, left me wondering what the author's purpose was. For that matter, he seemed so ambivalent that I don't know what he really thought about it--in the end. On the one hand, he seemed to have that evangelical fundamentalist recoil at some of the scenes; on the other hand, he seemed to admire the overall vision of Malick.

Can't wait to see the movie. I'm on a FB fan page for TM. The film has been out in Europe for several months. The postings are all positive, but that is expected from a fan page. Still, his works result in people really loving them or walking out on them.

Thanks for sharing the article!


David Beck
Senior Lecturer

English Department

Indiana University and Purdue University at Indianapolis

425 University Boulevard,
CA 343-E
Indianapolis, IN 46202

From: Percy-L <percy-l-bounces AT> on behalf of Lauren Stacy Berdy <lauren.stacy.berdy AT>
Sent: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 5:00 PM
To: wppdirector AT; Percy-L: Literary and PhilosophicalDiscussion
Subject: Re: [percy-l] Terrence Malick and Percy - Review Essay of the film "Knight of Cups and the Spirituality of Sleaze" (Bret McCracken)
A very good summation of "Knight of cups"
I will add this
Whereas it was once the highest purpose of life to achieved a  freedom from oneself it is now
Our will to secure the greatest possible measure of freedom for oneself 
No matter from what
The movie gets a hold of this fact and doesn't let go
Wonder if anyone will have their head turned
Dr. Percy would call this movie the aesthetic stage
One that moves along from experience to experience a rotation here
Nostalgia there

Sent from my iPad

On Mar 8, 2016, at 9:11 AM, Henry Mills <wppdirector AT> wrote:

Dear Percy-L:

I would like to commend the below review article of Terrence Malick's latest film, "Knight of Cups," for quite an interesting read. Percy is quoted (through Binx) in the review, and the parallels between Malick and Percy are substantial on numerous levels that could lead to an engaging Percy-L discussion.  (Malick, to my knowledge, was greatly influenced by Percy and once apparently considered a film version of "The Moviegoer," though that was some fifteen years ago.)  From "Knight," it is possible to understand why.

That being said, the somewhat tentative nature of this essay's beginning is misleading and rather establishes the context that ultimately targets what might be seen as Malick's brilliance, and in turn Percy's — in their artistic rendering of "where" personal meaning lies, in the contrast of being drawn toward the superficial or the substantive, despite the abundant nature of the former (for example, Los Angeles as Malick's setting), and the fleeting "signs" of the latter (the search for relationship) as in "The Moviegoer." Malick and Percy walk in stride in their "indirect communications" of where each places the locus of personal meaning.

I, for one, would be interested in any follow-up comments any on the list have to offer.

Henry Mills
Percy-L Administrator

"Knight of Cups and the Spirituality of Sleaze"

In his seventh film, Terrence Malick explores spiritual struggle amidst the stargazing seductions of the City of Angels.
Brett McCracken/ MARCH 4, 2016

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