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Terrence Malick Expresses Mixed Feelings About Era of Digital Cinema in Rare Public Appearance

Reclusive and renowned filmmaker Terrence Malick made a rare public appearance at Princeton University last week to discuss Roberto Rosellini’s classic 1954 film Journey to Italy as well as touching on his own work.

Reports The Film Stage‘s Eli F., “Malick expressed deeply mixed feelings about the age of digital cinema and the increasingly accessible technology that comes with it. On the one hand, he indicated great enthusiasm for the capacity of cheap and easily available HD cameras to democratize the form, making entry into image-making almost as easy as writing. Likewise, he’s taken an interest in the opportunity for new images and movements that can be captured by digital equipment, specifically naming the GoPro camera used for certain sequences in Knight of Cups. At the same time, he was adamant about the unique and irreplaceable power of the big screen to realize cinema’s full capacity – something he fears may be threatened by the propagation of handheld, digital video-playing devices and home theaters. This, in fact, is the exact reason why Malick has so infrequently revisited the work of the early greats who inspired him in film school. Journey to Italy was cited as a specific example: watching it at home or even on a portable device, one could ‘witness the shots, memorize the dialogue,’ and yet, without experiencing it on the big screen, he feels a crucial element would be lost.”

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