An Interview with Steven DeLay, editor of Life Above the Clouds: Philosophy in the Films of Terrence Malick (SUNY, 2023)

  • Matthew Johnson Independent scholar


Philosophical perspectives have been a longstanding framework for addressing the films of Terrence Malick. While this discourse may, at first, appear exhaustive, philosopher Steven DeLay breathes new life into Malick studies here. In his approach, he offers nuanced and passionate insights into Malick’s work by discussing aesthetics, religion, philosophy, and the nature of cinema as art. As a brief introduction to his edited volume Life Above of the Clouds: Philosophy in the Films of Terrence Malick, this conversation with DeLay presents an equally personal and academic dialogue on this complex and elusive filmmaker, who seems to be as much admired as he is criticized. Nevertheless, DeLay’s volume, in addition to a range of other contemporary and forthcoming Malick texts prove that this conversation about Malick augurs a continuum of enriching and provocative study.