It’s not unusual at all for major directors to take on smaller projects in between their films. For many, it’s a way of going back to their roots. David Fincher built up his stylistic sensibilities while directing commercials and music videos in the 1990s, and decided to return to the latter format for Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z‘s “Suit & Tie” video. Wong Kar-wai went small but no less mesmerizing after directing his masterwork, In the Mood for Love, by helming a video for a trippy DJ Shadow track. Daniels, the directorial team behind Swiss Army Man, have been working in a new technological realm of “Choose Your Own Adventure” films spurred by the same company that made this brilliant music video for Bob Dylan‘s “Like a Rolling Stone.” Spike Jonze, in fact, remains as famous for his small-screen works as his big-screen triumphs.
So, it’s not that surprising that Terrence Malick, the brilliant filmmaker behind Badlands, The Thin Red Line, and The Tree of Life, is now working on a smaller scale as well. FilmStage reports that Malick has directed a commercial for Guerlain perfumes starring Angelina Jolie, and that the commercial will be released sometime in March. Not much else is known about Jolie and Malick’s collaboration but just the fact that they will be meeting for the first time in this format makes the (presumably) short film something to get excited about.
This news comes at the same time as IndieWire’s report that Malick may have Radegund, his World War II drama starring Matthias Schoenaerts, ready for release by the end of 2017, perhaps in time for awards season even. Last year, Malick, famous for scant, sporadic output over the last three to four decades, put out two movies: Knight of Cups, one of his best films thus far, and Voyage of Time, his most idiosyncratic movie thus far. If this drive to put out new work felt exciting by the time Voyage of Time had been released in its third incarnation, the 2017 line-up of the Jolie commercial, Radegund, and the already announced Song to Song, which arrives this Spring, confirms an exhilarating new level of creation for the Texas-born auteur. Whether or not these works will match up with his largely unimpeachable oeuvre thus far is another matter altogether.