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Song to Song

In the newest movie by Terrence Malick, BV (Ryan Gosling) and Faye (Rooney Mara) are struggling musicians in the Austin Texas music scene. Faye is at the time in a compulsive yet unsatisfying relationship with Cook (Michael Fassbender), a heavy in the music industry, who brings promises of fame to Faye and BV. The love story of BV and Faye is at the movie’s core, but Malick takes a rather winding approach to telling the story; the story visits past and future affairs and examines relationships BV and Faye have with others in the rock music scene (Patti Smith has a wonderful cameo as the strong music matriarch that she is, and Iggy Pop has cameo appearances as well). The film is very typical Malick; it is difficult to follow with its stream-of-conscious narrative, but you get swept away in the visual beauty of the film. The cinematographer creates scenes that are visual masterpieces by themselves and enhance the emotional depth of the story. Overall, the film seems to be telling a story of the shallowness of “the scene” and the challenge people have connecting with and understanding themselves and what they really want. The film gets a thumb’s up from me, but I also realize that it will likely resonate only with those who like Malick and his very unusual (and sometimes frustrating) narrative style.

About Gary Burkholder

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