According to Javier Bardem, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, and Olga Kurylenko, making a Terrence Malick movie is sort of like watching a Terrence Malick movie. It’s a dreamy, uncertain, unpredictable experience that seems simultaneously transformative and frustrating… and even the film’s stars have no idea what’s going on most of the time. As Kurylenko explains in the first of these two behind-the-scenes featurettes, “When we work with him, we have a feeling that we don’t know what we are doing. But actually, he knows exactly. I think he knows perfectly.”
It’s tough to know that for sure, though, since Malick himself never shows up in these shorts. Instead, they feature everyone from Affleck to production designer Jack Fisk talking about Malick’s genius and his unorthodox methods (To the Wonder had no actual script; to prepare for the film, Kurylenko was asked to read Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov, and The Idiot). They’re sort of reminiscent of that scene from Mean Girls in which a gaggle of high schoolers try to explain the entity that is Regina George — except this time, Regina George herself is one of the starstruck interviewees. Prepare yourself to enter the metaphysical plane by watching the videos below.