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Every Ridiculous Thing People Actually Do in Terrence Malick’s ‘Song to Song’

Broad Green Pictures

Michael Fassbender recently described Terrence Malick’s style as giving his cast “flavors as opposed to direct commands or instructions.” Certainly his approach to directing is unique. Whatever script there might be goes out the window in favor of scraps of paper with aphorisms written on them. Some actors love it; others notoriously hate it.

Regardless of whether or not you enjoy his increasingly experimental style, when you buy a ticket for a new Malick film you know you’re about to see A-list stars do something different. And in Song to Song, his actors are more uninhibited than ever before. The Austin-set music romance stars Rooney Mara as a songwriter who’s pulled between relationships with Ryan Gosling’s musician and Fassbender’s music producer. Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett also show up, and since the film is set at real-life musical festivals, loads of iconic rock stars and musicians have roles in the film as well.

To give you a taste of what to expect from Song to Song, and out of appreciation for Malick’s unorthodox process, I’ve compiled the wild, delightful, and sometimes ridiculous things that happen in the movie. From Fassbender feeding Portman psychedelic drugs to Val Kilmer going nuts on stage, you really never know what you’re going to get with this movie. Spoilers, obviously.

Every Ridiculous Thing Actors and Musicians Do in Terrence Malick’s Song to Song:

1. Michael Fassbender feeds Natalie Portman magic mushrooms covered in honey.

Casual foreplay. (Photo: Broad Green Pictures)
Casual foreplay. (Photo: Broad Green Pictures)

2. Fassbender sets off colored smoke bombs on his balcony (while tripping on ’shrooms).

3. Portman has a threesome with Fassbender and a female escort.

4. Portman has a threesome with Rooney Mara and Fassbender.

5. Val Kilmer cuts his hair off with a knife.

6. Val Kilmer destroys an amp on stage with a chainsaw.

How Kilmer acts when he remembers ‘Batman Forever.’ (Photo: Broad Green Pictures)
How Kilmer reacts when he remembers ‘Batman Forever.’ (Photo: Broad Green Pictures)

7. Fassbender grabs Ryan Gosling’s hand and says, “Look at your fingernails man! Where’s the dirt?!”

8. Mara and Fassbender casually watch Big Freedia and her dancers twerk to “Explode” on stage.

9. Gosling gives Mara a light show with LED gloves.

10. A shirtless Iggy Pop manages to not spill a glass of red wine as he emphatically gestures during a story about his life.

Song to Song
(Broad Green Pictures)

11. Fassbender wrestles with Anthony Kiedis and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

12. Cate Blanchett’s pearl necklace breaks in a restaurant, and she scrambles to scoop up the pearls.

13. Mara lets a giant furry caterpillar crawl on her shoulder.

14. Gosling wears this shirt.

(Broad Green Pictures)

15. Fassbender and Gosling get in drunken play fights with locals at a bar in Mexico.

16. Diplo DJs in a tent while Fassbender watches and smokes a cigar.

17. Gosling chews on Rooney Mara’s foot.

18. Lykke Li and Gosling sing a cover of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ “It Hurts To Be Alone.”

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19. Mara sits on the front of the stage while Patti Smith performs.

20. Fassbender pours a shot of alcohol into an urn of ashes.

21. Fassbender throws a party where people eat sushi off a naked woman’s body.

22. Fassbender hops around the beach chasing Mara like a monkey.

23. Gosling draws on Mara’s chest with lipstick.

24. Gosling gets angry with Fassbender and breaks a beer bottle at a rooftop bar.

25. Gosling stands in a field of wheat with a gun. Why? Because it’s a Terrence Malick movie.

(Broad Green Pictures)
(Broad Green Pictures)

Song to Song is now playing in New York and Los Angeles.

ScreenCrush’s Review of Terrence Malick’s ‘Song to Song’

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