More evidence that Terrence Malick is the best

Terrence Malick's latest film,To the Wonder, still hasn't been released in the United States. I'm a huge Malick fan--see my earlier post on Days of Heaven--so I was already excited to see the new movie, which features Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Olga Kurylenko, and Javier Bardem.After hearing how Malick asked his actors to prepare, though, I'm even more excited:

To the Wonderhad no actual script; to prepare for the film, Kurylenko was asked to readAnna Karenina,The Brothers Karamazov, andTheIdiot

That Malick would himself be interested in Tolstoy and Dostoevsky isn't all the surprising: he studied with Stanley Cavell at Harvard and has published a translation of Heidegger'sThe Essence of Reasons. That he'd see reading the Russians as adequate preparation for a feature film, though, is pretty wild. Who says that reading literature can't help you professionally? Long live the humanities. 

Anthony Domestico is Chair of the Literature Department at Purchase College, and a frequent contributor to Commonweal. His book Poetry and Theology in the Modernist Period is available from Johns Hopkins University Press.

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