Terrence Malick, known for masterpieces such as The Thin Red Line (1998) and The Tree of Life (2011) has recently committed himself into experimental documentaries, with his Voyage of Time. The aim is to create works of a very particular type, different from what the spectator is used to see, similarly to other masterpieces of documentary genre like Koyaanisqatsi.
Terrence Malick’s work is intented to tell the creation of the universe through images that give a very strong visual impact, especially when seen in the big screen, using that mythic feelings that we saw already in The Tree of Life. Processing the images with the help of computer graphics and saturation adjustments, Malick creates a path between religious narration and time passing slowly, providing a divine, higher sense of the dimension that in the end includes also us and the place where we live.
This is the particular beauty of the documentary: leading the spectator into a spiritual sensation that differs from anything we usually feel. Coming back to childhoot through the amazement, the enchantment of the stars, the galaxies and everything greater than us. The style of Malick in Voyage of Time is deeply hermetic and faces the naturalistic themes in an intimate and confidential tone, with a veneration of the image that wants to upset the spectator, to put him in a position of inferiority compared to the immensity of the universe. It’s a scientific tale that becomes poetry and audiovisual pleasure.
Filming wasn’t easy. The director is known for his manic perfectionism and filming time is always very long. The colleagues describe Malick also as a person extremely reserved and hostile to situations or people who can affect production, often changing collaborators.
Voyage of Time was presented at Venice Film Festival and conceived in two versions: the first, the IMAX Experience, 40 minutes long and narrated by Brad Pitt, and the second, Life’s Journey, which is 90 minutes long and includes some 35mm scenes narrated by Cate Blanchett.
Part of the movie, whose initial, never completed project was titled Q, is included inhis The Tree of Life and the soundtrack was composed by Ennio Morricone.