I’m Gonna Need Another Week! (Premiere Episode Delayed to June 8)

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.”
–Leonard Bernstein

The deeper I get into prepping this first episode the more I see there is to say about the movie. And I’m really enjoying the process, even more than I expected to. Not to say by producing this podcast I’m doing a great thing, but I’m seeing how I can make it appreciably better with a little more time.

I’ve missed the June 1st deadline for the premiere episode. I’m sorry to disappoint you. I’m now aiming for June 8th.

The movie this time is The Thin Red Line, written and directed by Terrence Malick. If you heard Episode 2 of Book Movie Blurt, the movie part (the middle third) was essentially a preview of this show.

This was the third movie Malick directed and his first in 20 years. Everybody wanted to work with him, except possibly the crew members who walked off the set of his first two movies because they didn’t think he knew what he was doing.

Malick never learned how to make a movie the standard Hollywood way. He figured out how to make movies just like he figured out almost everything else in his creative life–by applying his own ideas, making brilliant mistakes, and then making brilliant corrections to those mistakes.* He made it up as he went along. But unlike most filmmakers, who would crash and burn trying to pull that off, Malick wasn’t trying to make a hit movie. And he wasn’t trying to make a World War II movie either. (He left that to Spielberg–and Spielberg took the Oscar away from him.) He was trying to make a movie about the inexpressible.

He was trying to find images and sounds that spoke of the edges of perception, the limits of strength, and the fringes of understanding. A poet understands he can use a war for that.

Thanks for your patience. The Thin Red Line is a movie so rich in stories behind the scenes it’s taking me longer than expected to do the best ones justice in the podcast. But in about a week I’ll share with you what I was able to find.

More than ever I’m excited about the promise of the podcast and about the content in this first episode.

I can’t wait for you to hear it!

* During editing of Days of Heaven (which took two years), Malick discovered the movie he’d hoped to make couldn’t be assembled from the footage he had, so to save the movie he wrote voiceover material to fill in gaps from scenes he hadn’t shot.  He discovered he liked the tone of the voiceovers more than much of the dialogue–so he used more voiceovers than were necessary to fulfill the needs of dramatic exposition.  He used them as a periscope into the heart and mind of a character.  This was how his unique technique with voiceovers was born–out of necessity.  What was tried as an act of desperation became a stylistic signature.

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