A1 Journal article – refereed
Välissä olemisen hohto – Koetun kerrokset Terrence Malickin elokuvassa 'Veteen piirretty viiva'

Subtitle: Koetun kerrokset Terrence Malickin elokuvassa 'Veteen piirretty viiva'
List of Authors: Sihvonen Jukka
Publisher: Lähikuva ry
Place: Turku
Publication year: 2013
Journal: Lähikuva
Number in series: 2
Volume number: 26
Issue number: 2
ISSN: 0782-3053
eISSN: 0782-3053


This article discusses the various ways of being in-between in Malick’s adaptation of the war novel written by James Jones and published in 1962. The narrative strategies of the film conjoin features of a manuscript referring to the future, and a diary that commonly is understood as a reflection of the past. In fact these characteristics could be related to Malick’s other films as well. The soldiers depicted in the film become framed by the relationships they are placed in. On one hand there are the many voice-overs with poetic ruminations concerning existence and on the other hand for example the scarceness of actual battle sequences. Both of these can create a space to focus on audio-visual means of expression. The visual outlook is filled with events that develop in various ways the notion of being in-between. One of the examples of this mode is the light of the ‘magic hour’ (of the twilight or the dawn) Michel Chion, among others, has studied as an authorial signature mark belonging to Malick. What we hear and what we see on the screen are, as it were, from two different worlds, but instead of placing these two distinctively as such, the article argues that what is most important is the space created between the two, their inter-relatedness, a kind of mobile bearing that has been adjusted amid the two poles. This strategy is then related to discussions of the transcendental vs. immanent, and the modes of disappearance of the individual. Finally the distinction is made between the soldier and the warrior, war and combat. Malick’s war film is not actually about the essence of war but about the relationship between war and combat: “War is only a combat-against, a will to destruction, a judgment of God that turns destruction into something ’just’. [--] Combat, by contrast, is a powerful, nonorganic vitality that supplements force with force, and enriches whatever it takes hold of.” (G. Deleuze, “To Have Done With Judgment”).    

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Last updated on 2019-20-07 at 01:33