Christian Bale has been in a lot of crazy movies, but every actor sort of enters another dimension when they take part in a Terrence Malick film. Malick has one of the most recognizable styles in filmmaking, known for his movies' gorgeous, dreamy, and drifting gaze at their subjects. His latest, Knight of Cups, appears to be no exception. The film teams Malick with Bale, Cate Blanchett, and Natalie Portman, and a bewildering and entrancing first trailer for it was just released. It also came along with this bizarre description of the film:
Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep.
Rick’s (Christian Bale) father used to read this story to him as a boy.
The road to the East stretches out before him. Will he set forth?
It's totally unclear what that means, but the movie appears to be exploring fame and excess through Bale's character's relationship with different women.
The film is set to premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February, and you'll likely be able to see it in theaters later next year. If you're put off by this trailer's almost total lack of clarity, just know that this is a style that Malick is usually able to pull off, putting together a mixture of moody and insightful moments to form a greater whole. That style has come through strong in his most recent two films, 2011's The Tree of Life being particularly successful at it. Knight of Cups actually looks like it may be a more focused film from Malick, with its trailer suggesting a tense tone and some interesting digital camerawork. Regardless of the outcome, Malick fans will be happy for just about anything: he's disappeared from filmmaking for decades at a time, so any new release is worth watching.