Skip to main content


In Context: Terrence Malick Retrospective

“[Malick has a] gift for wordless poetry, a tidal drifting of images and sounds.” —Guardian

The area premiere of Terrence Malick’s new, heavily anticipated film, The Tree of Life, follows a rare, complete retrospective of the work of this extraordinary filmmaker. With uncompromising, unparalleled vision, Malick makes films of breathtaking cinematography, sweeping soundscapes, masterful voice-over narration, and exquisite silences. A former Rhodes Scholar who studied philosophy and worked in journalism before turning to film, he made his first, the landmark Badlands, in 1973 at the age of 29. That year, the New York Film Festival opened with François Truffaut’s Day for Night and closed with Badlands—bookending the program by saluting the European master and announcing the arrival of a great new talent.

Malick’s films frame the landscape of the past and investigate our relationship to nature. The New York Times characterized his “intoxication with natural beauty” as being “fused so palpably and strangely with the psychic sleepwalking of his human characters.” He often peoples his movies with alienated outcasts and corruptible innocents—characters who try to interact with a world that refuses to be mastered by them. These subjects remain in a human scale even when set in the large cultural frame of American history—from early colonialism to the migration westward to World War II and the rebellious youth of the 1950’s. We are now ready for his new film’s look at growing up in today’s America.

Malick has made just five films and is known to be silent about the work he takes years to perfect, leaving interpretation up to the audience. Viewing his complete body of work on majestic 35mm film offers nothing less than a revelatory cinematic experience.

The premiere screening of The Tree of Life is made possible by River Road Entertainment.