If you recently saw the trailer for Terrence Malick’s upcoming film, Knight of Cups, you may have at first thought, “woah, what a break from form for Malick – this looks gritty, visceral, even at times, ugly” — until, midway through the trailer, a wave breaks, strings swell, and the hedonistic protagonist’s perspective shifts towards the dictatorial sense of wonder we’re so used to in Terrence Malick films.
If it appeared the director was breaking a pattern, the sudden burst of awe in the trailer — evoked through a series of images of human/sculptural angels, hair blowing in a convertible, Cate Blanchett being Cate Blanchett — probably provided something of a “gotcha!” moment. A new, pretty brilliant video by Andrew Bouvé for Slate highlights the often-unyielding, overwrought beauty of Malick’s work by instead making Zoolander — which, according to “legend,” Malick allegedly loves — look exactly like a Terrence Malick film, splicing select footage of just the right Zoolander orgy scenes, Blue Steels, and skin creme mermaids with a couple of clips from Malick’s own oeuvre.
Flavorwire’s own Jason Bailey called Zoolander 2 — which arrives in theaters tomorrow — “punishingly unfunny” in his review. But this Zoolander-as-Malick-drama trailer will likely make you recall what may have amused you about the first Zoolander film — its parody of the fashion world’s outlandish, polished aestheticization of any and every element — from banal to tragic — of the human experience. (Which is something Malick certainly shares with that world.)
The “trailer” comes at an especially perfect time, as Malick’s Knight of Cups actually looks more like Zoolander than anything else he’s done. (It follows a screenwriter living in the superficial bowels of Hollywood society —who seemingly undergoes a revelatory journey — and thus exists within the same saturated, fashion-forward nausea as Zoolander.)
And in case you missed it, here’s the Knight of Cups trailer: