HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Man Who Invented Christmas, The
Tom's Midnight Garden
Lady, Stay Dead
Thieves, The
My Dear Secretary
I Think We're Alone Now
Amazing Colossal Man, The
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Suzanne
Nae Pasaran!
Kiss of the Dragon
Other Side of the Wind, The
Secret Santa
Wolcott
10.000 Km
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Hitler's Hollywood
Ghost Goes Gear, The
First Purge, The
House of Wax
Mandy
   
 
Newest Articles
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
   
 
  Song to Song Woozy MusicBuy this film here.
Year: 2017
Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Holly Hunter, Bérénice Marlohe, Val Kilmer, Lykke Li, Olivia Grace Applegate, Tom Sturridge, Brady Coleman, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, John Lydon, Florence Welch, Flea
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Faye (Rooney Mara) is a musician, a guitarist, in the Austin scene in Texas, yet she wonders if her vocation is truly bringing her satisfaction in life. This brought her to songwriter BV (Ryan Gosling), who she hit it off with highly successfully, and soon they were both head over heels in love, spending long summer days rolling around with each other both in the bedroom and in the open air, playing like puppies. But there is another man in Faye's social circle who is far more manipulative than BV, he is recording executive Cook (Michael Fassbender), who in his own drive to attain a perfection in his soul has a habit of using his charisma to wrap people, women especially, around his little finger...

Director Terrence Malick received some of the worst reviews of his career for Song to Song, which coming after the extreme scepticism from many quarters that greeted his previous project, Knight of Cups, meant for many he had lost everything that made him such a lauded filmmaker from his first few efforts, despite those having around a twenty-year gap between him making the first two and commencing his third. If he had retired after The New World his reputation could have stayed intact, even Tree of Life had a legion of defenders, but after that it seemed he was tagged with that dreaded term "self-indulgent" and once that had happened there was no hope for him critically.

Not to mention with general audiences: imagine you had heard this guy was one of the greatest of all time, so you gave this a go and frankly wondered what his fans were smoking, since you could not discern any plot here, simply a bunch of famous folks arseing about for over two hours, with a narration from them which utterly failed to clear anything up whatsoever. The trouble with that was, in the case of this movie at least, you would not be too far off the mark in that conclusion, only bolstered by the actors telling us that the whole shebang was improvised and assembled from weeks of footage in the editing suite, which justifiably set off alarm bells in those who wished for a proper story.

Indeed, a collection of sequences loosely connected by the same famous faces showing up in most of them what precisely what Song to Song resembled, and again, that was down to that summation being accurate. Malick apparently believed he was musing on relationships, love, death and memory, but you would only know that from reading up about the film beforehand (or afterwards), as this ridiculously extended montage collated clips of music, some more recognisable than others, and pressed them into service over a tale set against the celebrated Austin music scene. You could at least tell that from the famous faces the director had captured for his camera, including seconds-long bursts of John Lydon or the Red Hot Chili Peppers, or slightly more extended chats with Iggy Pop or Lykke Li. Patti Smith probably got the best deal out of her inclusion.

When they were not on the screen, the lion's share was given over to movie stars playing what might laughably be called characters, though Malick seemed to think watching his cast lolling around bedrooms or getting back to his beloved nature was a nice substitute for offering them something more substantial to do. Yet what those who had turned against him failed to acknowledge was that he was always like this, and Song by Song was a distillation of his quirks and identifiable traits as Knight of Cups had been, so yes, it stumbled badly as a narrative, and its themes were largely solely visible to their creators (Emmanuel Libezki was once again his closest collaborator as his cinematographer), but as before it did have a surface attractiveness that meant you could watch it all play out before your eyes as a kind of cinematic kaleidoscope and it would be fairly enjoyable in a "watching someone else's dreams" manner. Coming across as a virtuoso guitarist noodling for a couple of hours in search of a killer riff, the probability was you would find it boring, yes, but meet it halfway by relaxing into it and it wasn't so bad.

[Studio Canal's DVD has plenty of interviews with cast and crew (though not the director, natch) and a featurette on the music.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 742 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: