With 2011’s Palme d’Or winning movie The Tree of Life, director and poet-who-didn’t-even-know-it Terrence Malick got ambitious. After telling deeply lyrical stories about the fragility of the human condition in movies like Badlands and The Thin Red Line, Malick returned to tell a story about, well, everything and everyone. He put out the relatively lackluster and narcissistic To the Wonder in 2012, and is set to release another contemplative ode to existentialism, Knight of Cups, this year.
But another project on Malick’s plate has been an unfinished extension of The Tree of Life called Voyage of Time, a documentary that expands upon the Big Bang sequence of the former movie. Wild rumors have swirled in cinephile circles about just what the movie is about and whether it really exists, but rest assured it’s real, and we now have our first look at the movie and even a synopsis.
Production company Wild Bunch has released three photos from the documentary. One is a galaxy, one some kind of lizard’s eye, and the other is a human eye. Check them out below:
So, yes, Malick’s new documentary will be about circles of all kinds. But what’s it really about? Thankfully, Wild Bunch also included a handy synopsis to wrap everything all up in a nice narrative bow. Here’s that:
“Voyage of Time is a celebration of the earth, displaying the whole of time, from the birth of the universe to its final collapse. This film examines all that went to prepare the miracle that stands before us now. Science and spirit, birth and death, the grand cosmos and the minute life systems of our planet - all come together in Malick’s most ambitious film to date.”
Oh, well, OK, so it’s not all wrapped up for us. This is Malick after all, so we were fools to think this wouldn’t be a stream of consciousness tone poem using the widest, most epic scope possible.
Voyage of Time basically sounds like it’ll be Malick’s headier version of filmmaker Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi, and just in case it confuses you the first time when you see it you’ll also have a chance to view the movie a second way.
Unfortunately, despite the star power of the two versions, Voyage of Time currently has no specific release date or distributor. Until then, just repeat that one scene from Tree of Life above on a loop then tune in, turn on, and drop out, or whatever.