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Terrence Malick is regarded as one of the most illuminating and thought-provoking filmmakers to have ever graced American cinema. There’s just one problem: he has made six feature films in the last four decades. Thankfully, over the last few years he has become more prolific, and his latest film sounds just as weird and wonderful as you’d have expected.
Terrence Malick’s newest film is currently titled Project V, but that is expected to change at some point in the future. Until now, available information about the film had still been at a minimum. But the fine people over at Ryan Gosling Addicted have put their addiction to good use by translating an article from the Italian website, Cinefiols, which has shed a little bit more light on the upcoming project. At the Le Giornate professional del Cinema 2014, which is currently being held in Sorrento, Italy, some footage from the film was aired. And it turns out that Project V will see Ryan Gosling portraying an aspiring rock star.
Project V also includes the prestigious acting talent of Michael Fassbender and Rooney Mara. According to the report, Fassbender’s character is the business partner of Ryan Gosling’s rocker, and the pair work tirelessly together to try and help him reach his musical peak. Meanwhile Rooney Mara is Ryan Gosling’s love interest in the film. The footage also suggests that she has a secret relationship with Michael Fassbender too. Does that mean that we are going to get to see Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gosling trade blows in an attempt to win the heart of Rooney Mara? Let’s hope so. I’d put my money on Fassbender to come out on top.
But that’s not all. Terrence Malick’s rather superb reputation as a filmmaker also saw him convince Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett to join the ensemble too. I think we can all agree that this is a rather smashing quintet of actors for any director to have at their disposal. Natalie Portman’s character becomes entangled with Michael Fassbender while Cate Blanchett reportedly grows closer to Ryan Gosling. Whether any of these actors will actually make the final cut of the film is still very much up for debate though. In fact, Christian Bale has already predicted that he has already been edited out after only filming for three or four days.
The fact that the report states "from the short footage we can guess that Ryan Gosling will star as an aspiring rock star" suggests that what was shown was a bit enigmatic and strange - which is hardly a surprise. Terrence Malick loves to subtly hint at his themes, plot and characterization rather than being overt with them. The likes of The Tree of Life and To The Wonder are testament to how he has a perfect eye for cinematic images - but his divisive approach to plot can leave people cold. Project V has been described as a film that is slow and gradual, while its rhythms and themes allegedly evolve and change over the course of its running time too. But what does all that actually mean? Who knows. It’s Terrence Malick. You just need to sit down, watch it, and feel something. If you like it: great. If you hate it: everyone completely understands.