Making of Rick and Morty

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, learn about certain animation challenges that have popped up throughout the four seasons of Rick and Morty on Adult Swim. Plus, Patrick (H) Willems gets economical by doing a video essay follow-up to six previous videos about Cats, Michael Bay, music biopics, and more. Finally, go on a virtual ride of The Incredicoaster from Pixar Pier at Disneyland and learn some trivia about the theme park attraction. Read More »

a hidden life clip

A Hidden Life is the latest tone poem from Terrence Malick, and it’s also his best movie in years. While it still maintains the sprawling style Malick has leaned heavily on in the latter half of his career, it also has a very clear narrative throughline – something many of his modern movies have lacked. The film is inspired by the true story of  Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer who refused to fight for the Nazis – a decision which cost him dearly. In an exclusive A Hidden Life clip below, Franz’s wife Franziska (Valerie Pachner) writes the imprisoned man a letter. That may not sound like the most exciting thing in the world, but Malick makes it altogether beautiful.

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It’s been over ten years since Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine instructed audiences that the “Nazi ain’t got no humanity” in Quentin Tarantino’s Inlgourious Basterds. In the decade that followed, we watched as a quaint, yet uproarious tale of obliterating Nazis turned from celluloid fantasy to real-world nightmare. Various films have tackled the real-world threat of the revival of insidious ethnonationalist ideology, most notably Spike Lee’s BlackKklansman in 2018, which drew a direct parallel between the inability to fully extinguish the insidious threat of white nationalism in the 1970s to the 2017 neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville that claimed the life of Heather Heyer.

Whether past is prologue or merely an instruction manual to navigate recurring and unresolved social tensions, it was hard to ignore the spectre of Nazi Germany at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Václav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird, a bleak story of a young Jewish boy wandering Eastern Europe after being separated from his parents during World War II, reportedly prompted mass walkouts. Dan Friedkin’s Lyrebird, acquired by Sony Pictures Classics, made fewer waves with its story of how a member of the Dutch resistance investigated art stolen by the Nazis.

But by far the most notable films to grapple with the Third Reich came from Fox Searchlight’s two most pedigreed ponies for the fall season, Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit and Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life. On the surface, these films could not appear more different. Waititi’s energetic, irreverent style is at one formal extreme, and Malick’s reverential, brooding aesthetic represents another. Yet the films share more than just their obvious similarity of depicting characters quietly resisting the authoritarian impulses of Nazi Germany. Both, in their own way, celebrate the power of the individual to make a difference in the fight against evil regimes.

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the last planet

Terrence Malick is already at work on his next film, The Last Planet, which finds the acclaimed director telling the story of everyone’s favorite holy carpenter, Jesus H. Christ. And since you usually can’t tell a story about Jesus without Satan popping-up somewhere, it looks like Old Scratch is going to be represented in the film as played by Mark Rylance. But Rylance isn’t just playing one Satan – he’s playing four different versions of the character.

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a hidden life trailer

One of Terrence Malick‘s best films is The Thin Red Line, a searing existential drama set against the backdrop of World War II. The acclaimed filmmaker returns to that era with his latest, A Hidden Life. But this is no mere Thin Red Line repeat. A Hidden Life looks to be something much different – while still maintaining those Malick tropes many have come to love (and loathe). Watch the A Hidden Life trailer below.

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thy kingdom come trailer

Terrence Malick is a singular director. Not just in his exploration of the metaphysical through surreal imagery and meditative voiceover, but in his filming style. Malik will often shoot hours of footage with no grand plan in mind, only “finding” the film in the edit bay. As a result, countless actors and plot lines end up on the cutting room floor, likely never to be seen by the public. But for the footage cut from his 2012 film To the Wonder, that won’t be the case.

Thy Kingdom Come will be the first spin-off of a Terrence Malick film, comprised of the cut footage surrounding Javier Bardem‘s character Father Quintana, a priest struggling with his faith. In the film, tiny glimpses of Father Quintana’s day-to-day life hearing the confessions of small-town residents in Oklahoma can be seen. But did you know that those scenes did not feature actors, but real-life Americans?

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Star Wars Game Pitch - Morning Watch

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, see how the films of Terrence Malick has influenced other filmmakers to emulate his work. Plus, go on a tour of the real locations from Forrest Gump, and see a pitch for a Star Wars shooter game from 2016 that looks absolutely incredible. Read More »

Hans Zimmer interview

If you want to learn about composing movie music, why not go to one of the masters? The opportunity to take a class from Hans Zimmer is now only a few clicks away. The man behind the scores for The Thin Red LineInceptionThelma & Louse, and other favorites is now available to teach movie fans a thing or two about his job, as he’s now another one of MasterClass’ great teachers.

Zimmer, whose work has excited and moved us throughout his varied career, is often seen in his workspace in the MasterClass, explaining the nuts and bolts of the process, sometimes showing us what isn’t always easy to communicate in words. We recently spoke with the composer about having to explain instinct, taking a closer look at his work, and memories of working with Terrence Malick, Christopher Nolan, and Ridley Scott.

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song to song review

Late in Song to Song, a character strums an old guitar, noting that she could play the same chord for hours straight. Read it as another odd musing in a film filled with them or read it as director Terrence Malick summoning a nugget of self-awareness. Whatever it is, this moment sums up this film (and Malick’s recent output): this is the work of an artist willing to do the same thing over and over and over again, not because it makes a crowd-pleasing song, because it pleases him. These are his chords. His monotonous, frustrating, repetitive and undeniably distinctive chords.

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Song to Song trailer

Over three years ago, Val Kilmer pulled out a chainsaw at Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Music Festival when he was performing on stage with The Black Lips. Kilmer wasn’t a new addition to the band gone mad or anything; he was shooting a scene for Terrence Malick‘s long-awaited upcoming film, Song to Song, previously titled Weightless. While Malick often cuts great actors out of his films, thankfully Kilmer and his chainsaw made the final cut of Malick’s new love story, which stars Ryan GoslingRooney MaraMichael Fassbender, and Natalie Portman.

Below, watch the Song to Song trailer.

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