Author Topic: The Tree of Life  (Read 103255 times)

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Fernando

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #225 on: May 16, 2011, 10:55:43 AM »
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this goes back to me saying this will cause mass enlightenment.

obviously i'm joking!


months ago I was with some friends who like movies and he asked me which movie was the best I've seen, and said eyes wide shut and the tree of life. obvsly they asked what the hell was TOL, I said ''oh, it hasn't come out yet''. and they went ballistic on me saying all kinds of insults. I laughed.

socketlevel

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #226 on: May 16, 2011, 11:06:13 AM »
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I am very enthusiastic. It's the #1 film i want to see this year.
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Pas

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #227 on: May 16, 2011, 11:13:43 AM »
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this goes back to me saying this will cause mass enlightenment.

obviously i'm joking!


months ago I was with some friends who like movies and he asked me which movie was the best I've seen, and said eyes wide shut and the tree of life. obvsly they asked what the hell was TOL, I said ''oh, it hasn't come out yet''. and they went ballistic on me saying all kinds of insults. I laughed.

HAHA! good one.

Reminds me of fools who blast me because I hate some movies I've never seen: ''HOW CAN YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT?!''

No amount of ''have you ever tasted horse shit?'' arguments can convince them.

Stefen

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #228 on: May 16, 2011, 11:27:44 AM »
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The divisiveness of this film doesn't surprise me one bit. This is what happens when all his films first first come out. A couple weeks after it's release, The New World was sitting at under 60% at Rotten Tomatoes if I recall correctly. Now it is considered a masterpiece. I don't remember when The Thin Red Line came out but it probably wasn't universally praised right off the bat. I'm sure Saving Private Ryan was the choice war movie that year, but 13 years later and we all know The Thin Red Line is the better film.

I don't think Malick's films work very well watching in a large theater with an audience. They're personal and deep films. Ideal setting for viewing is by yourself. You don't get them right away after a viewing. They come to you later because you can't get them out of your head. You replay certain parts in your brain and when you eventually go back and revisit his films, you finally come around to how good they are.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #229 on: May 16, 2011, 11:33:37 AM »
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Crash was awful not because it preached too much, it was awful because what it preached was fucking stupid.

Amen (so to speak).
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socketlevel

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #230 on: May 16, 2011, 11:50:39 AM »
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from my memory they were praised about the same in the press. saving private ryan mainly for the first 20 minutes.

I always hated saving private ryan, it's just an action movie with cliched plot elements. The second world war is the backdrop of a holywood action movie. It's a laughable concept.

Most of my friends liked SPR more, and i think they still do.
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matt35mm

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #231 on: May 16, 2011, 12:32:19 PM »
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Hey, does anyone know where this is opening on May 27th? All the info I can find just says "limited release." I hope it's not just 2 theaters in NY/LA or some crap like that.

Pas

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #232 on: May 16, 2011, 12:50:30 PM »
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I know that it's not before mid-june in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal :(

matt35mm

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #233 on: May 16, 2011, 12:52:59 PM »
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Ah, shoot. It was difficult to find, but eventually I found two blogs that both said it'd be opening June 3rd in Austin. I think May 27th is just for NY/LA.

Shoulda opened in Austin first! It was shot here!

Fernando

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #234 on: May 16, 2011, 01:12:06 PM »
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june 3rd? you lucky son of a gum. we here in México are MONTHS away from its release (hope im wrong).


from indieWIRE.

The “Tree of Life” Press Conference and The Man Who Wasn’t There

Outside the Palais Monday morning, the love for Terrence Malick was on the verge of turning into frenzy. Members of the press leapt over railings and used mosh-pit tactics in order to break through the crowd and run up the Palais steps. Scores of fans held handmade signs begging passersby for a ticket.

But inside, the scene was contentious, even prickly. When the credits rolled, the famously vocal Cannes audience reacted with a smattering of polite applause as well as hissing boos. And at the press conference, when the cast and producers took their seats sans Malick (who is said to be in town), there were only a few claps of approval. The message was clear: Malick’s not here and we're pissed.

It was a theme that moderator Henri Behar was quick to identify. Why, he asked, was Malick not here for his own press conference?

“Mr. Malick is very shy and I believe his work speaks for itself,” said “Tree of Life” producer Dede Gardner.

“That’s not good enough,” Behar replied.

Gardner shot back, “Turn the volume up.”

The lines were drawn. The press felt that they were owed Malick, or at least a good explanation for his absence; Malick’s collaborators drew ranks around their auteur.

Next up, a reporter asked a question about Malick’s impressionistic shooting style, tartly suggesting that it seemed he might “rather be birdwatching than filmmaking.”

Brad Pitt agreed that it was an unusual approach, and one that wasn’t easy. “It’s like he’s waiting with a butterfly net to catch what was going by that day.” he said. “It’s exhausting.”

Added Jessica Chastain, “It’s all about capturing an accident,” she said. “He would be shooting and Brad would be wonderful and then there’d be a woodpecker nearby and he’d turn to that. You can’t plan any moment.”

Behar didn’t seem to be satisfied with the secondhand description of Malick’s process. “What kind of person is he?” he asked. “Does he laugh? Does he eat? Does he like food?”

“He’s laughing most of the day,” Pitt replied. “He finds pleasure in the day.”

Another reporter suggested that Malick was the sort of filmmaker who needed “a tough friend with a big stick” in order to finish his work.

Producer Sarah Green rejected the idea. “He’s the most disciplined director I’ve ever worked with, ” she said. “He never stops.”

Pohlad allowed, “There were a lot of hard conversations back and forth.” (Later, he added: “There was discussion about the dinosaurs.”)

Finally, Chaz Ebert laid it out: As Cannes is the most auteur-driven film festival, Malick “should perhaps be here.” And as his ambassadors, did he provide any direction in what to say, or not?

Once again, the “Tree of Life” team neatly deflected the question, with producer Grant Hill saying that “The idea he would want to exert influence… is a long way from Terry as a person.”

Added Pitt, “He sees himself as building a house. He doesn’t want to focus on the selling of the real estate.”

While Malick may be the most elusive example, he’s not alone in the desire to shrug off the notion of wearing a Century 21 blazer. Mel Gibson is expected to be in Cannes for “The Beaver,” but is not expected to give interviews. Ditto for “The Tree of Life” star Sean Penn. (A conference no-show, he’s on his way from Haiti and is expected to be here for tonight’s premiere.) Johnny Depp made his appearance on the red carpet for the fourth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, but the film held its junket in Los Angeles.

However, such is the power of the Cannes Film Festival: Certain celebrities can promote their films merely by being within city limits.

_____________________________

reading this article about that Malick-less q&a made me realize that:

a. reporters there dont know shit about Malick because they thought he was going to be there.

b. they're idiots to think Malick owes them to attend.

Pozer

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #235 on: May 16, 2011, 01:52:36 PM »
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this film will cause mass enlightenment temperament.

Pas

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #236 on: May 16, 2011, 01:56:35 PM »
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Film journalists are the worst people on earth. I truly despise them.

MacGuffin

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #237 on: May 16, 2011, 02:24:53 PM »
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The Tree Of Life: Cannes Review
Brad Pitt gives one of his finest performances in Terrence Malick's drama about the beginnings of life on Earth and the travails of a 1950s Texas family, writes Todd McCarthy.
Source: THR

The Bottom Line A unique film that will split opinions every which way, which Fox Searchlight can only hope will oblige people to see it for themselves.

CANNES --Brandishing an ambition it’s likely no film, including this one, could entirely fulfill, The Tree of Life is nonetheless a singular work, an impressionistic metaphysical inquiry into mankind’s place in the grand scheme of things that releases waves of insights amid its narrative imprecisions. This fifth feature in Terrence Malick’s eccentric four-decade career is a beauteous creation that ponders the imponderables, asks the questions that religious and thoughtful people have posed for millennia and provokes expansive philosophical musings along with intense personal introspection. As such, it is hardly a movie for the masses and will polarize even buffs, some of whom might fail to grasp the connection between the depiction of the beginnings of life on Earth and the travails of a 1950s Texas family. But there are great, heady things here, both obvious and evanescent, more than enough to qualify this as an exceptional and major film. Critical passions, pro and con, along with Brad Pitt in one of his finest performances will stir specialized audiences to attention, but Fox Searchlight will have its work cut out for it in luring a wider public. Shot three years ago and molded and tinkered with ever since by Malick and no fewer than five editors, Life is shaped in an unconventional way, not as a narrative with normal character arcs and dramatic tension but more like a symphony with several movements --each expressive of its own natural phenomena and moods. Arguably, music plays a much more important role here than do words (there is some voice-over but scarcely any dialogue at all for nearly an hour) whereas the soaring, sometimes grandiose soundtrack --comprising 35 mostly classical excerpts drawn from Bach, Brahms, Berlioz, Mahler, Holst, Respighi, Gorecki and others in addition to the contributions of Alexandre Desplat --dominates in the way it often did in Stanley Kubrick’s work. Indeed, this comparison is inevitable, as Life is destined to be endlessly likened to 2001: A Space Odyssey because to the spacy imagery of undefinable celestial lights and formations as well as because of its presentation of key hypothetical moments in the evolution of life on this planet. There are also equivalent long stretches of silence and semi-boredom designed, perhaps, to provide some time to muse about matters rarely raised in conventional narrative films. That Malick intends to think large is indicated by an opening quotation from the Book of Job, in which God intimidates the humble man by demanding, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the Earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.” Job is not cited again but is more or less paraphrased when, in moments of great personal distress, a small-town mother cries out, “Lord, why? Where are you?” and “What are we to you?” Life doesn’t answer these questions but fashions a relationship between its big-picture perspective and its intimate story that crucially serves the film’s philosophical purposes. Much of the early going is devoted to spectacular footage of massive natural phenomena, both in space and on Earth: gaseous masses, light and matter in motion, volcanic explosions, fire and water, the creation and growth of cells and organisms, eventually the evolution of jellyfish and even dinosaurs, represented briefly by stunningly realistic creatures, one of which oddly appears to express compassion for another. Juxtaposed with this are the lamentations of a mother (Jessica Chastain) for a son who has just died in unexplained circumstances and for a time it seems that placing the everyday doings of the O’Brien family of a quiet Texas town in the shadow of the seismic convulsions pertaining to the planet’s creation represents an inordinately elaborate way of expressing what Bogart said in Casablanca, that “the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” But while that might be true, it is also the case that those very problems --and everything else that people experience --are all that matter at the time one is experiencing them and are therefore of surpassing importance. Whatever else can --and will --be said about it, Life gets the balance of its extraordinary dual perspective between the cosmic and the momentary remarkably right, which holds it together even during its occasional uncertain stretches. Least effective is the contemporary framing material centered on the oldest O’Brien kid, Jack, portrayed as a middle-aged man by Sean Penn. A successful architect, Jack looks troubled and preoccupied as he moves through a world defined by giant Houston office towers and atriums shot so as to resemble secular cathedrals. While the connection to Jack’s childhood years is clear, the dramatic contributions of these largely wordless scenes are weak, even at the end, when a sense of reconciliation and closure is sought by the sight of flowers and disparate souls gathering on a beach in a way that uncomfortably resembles hippie-dippy reveries of the late 1960s. But the climactic shortfall only marginally saps the impact of the central story of family life. Occupying a pleasant but not lavish home on a wide dirt street in a town that matches one’s idealized vision of a perfect 1950s community (it’s actually Smithville, population 3,900, just southeast of Austin and previously seen in Hope Floats), the family is dominated by a military veteran father (Pitt) who lays down the law to his three boys seemingly more by rote than because of any necessity. He’s compulsively physical with them, playfully, affectionately and violently, and yet rigidly holds something back.

Within Malick’s scheme of things, Dad represents nature, while Mom (Chastain) stands for grace. Great pals among themselves, Jack (Hunter McCracken), R.L. (Pitt look-alike Laramie Eppler) and Steve (Tye Sheridan) range all over town and would seem to enjoy near-ideal circumstances in which to indulge their youth. But working in a manner diametrically opposed to that of theater dramatists inclined to spell everything out, Malick opens cracks and wounds by inflection, indirection and implication. Using fleet camerawork and jump-cutting that combine to intoxicating effect, the picture builds to unanticipated levels of disappointment and tragedy, much of it expressed with a minimum of dialogue in the final stages of Pitt’s terrific performance. Embodying the American ideal with his clean-cut good looks, open face, look-you-in-the-eyes directness and strong build, Pitt’s Mr. O’Brien embodies the optimism and can-do attitude one associates with the postwar period. But this man had other, unfulfilled dreams --he became “sidetracked,” as he says --and as his pubescent oldest son begins to display a troublesome rebelliousness, fractures begins to show in his own character as well, heartbreakingly so. Voice-over snippets suggestive of states of mind register more importantly than dialogue, and both are trumped by the diverse musical elements and the rumblings and murmurs of nature, which have all been blended in a masterful sound mix. Emmanuel Lubezki outdoes himself with cinematography of almost unimaginable crispness and luminosity. As in The New World, the camera is constantly on the move, forever reframing in search of the moment, which defines the film’s impressionistic manner. Production designer Jack Fisk and costume designer Jacqueline West make indispensable contributions to creating the film’s world. That not a single image here seems fake or artificial can only be the ultimate praise for the work of senior visual effects supervisor Dan Glass and his team, while the presence of Douglas Trumbull as visual effects consultant further cements the film’s connection to 2001.
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MacGuffin

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #238 on: May 16, 2011, 02:35:37 PM »
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'Tree of Life' Sets Off Mixed Frenzy of Boos, Applause, Glowing Reviews
Director Terrence Malick did not attend the screening; producer Sarah Green calls him “very shy.”

CANNES --Ending a prolonged waiting game, Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life finally made its way to the Cannes Film Festival, where it was met Monday with scattered boos, an initial round of applause and then a growing chorus of appreciative reviews. The Palais' Lumiere Theatre was packed full of press, who pushed and shoved to secure a seat for the 8:30 a.m. screening that marked the official bow of the movie, which the festival had originally hoped to screen last year only to be told at the time that it was not ready.

And even before the final credits rolled on the elusive director’s 138-minute meditation on the meaning of life, the rush to judgment began. With the film’s final, ambiguous image still lingering on the screen, a number of vociferous boos rained down from the balcony, while scattered applause broke out on the floor of the festival’s main theater.

Life, which Malick has been nurturing for years, defies easy categorization: At its center is the evocative tale of a family in Texas in the '50s: The disappointed, disciplinarian dad is played by Brad Pitt, while Jessica Chastain floats through the movie as the comforting and consoling mom. Sean Penn is seen, relatively briefly, in framing sections as one of their sons, grown up, troubled, and wandering through high rises in Houston. And then there is also a magisterial detour into a section that recreates the origins of the universe and the creation of planet earth, with a stop along the way for a fleeting glimpse of some dinosaurs. First reactions came in a rat-a-tat volley of tweets. “Tree of Life just ended, and it’s a very sad and beautiful...wank? The ultimate refutation of narrative? An interminable tone poem?,” tweeted Hollywood Elsewhere columnist Jeffrey Wells. Proclaimed Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir, “If the cosmic astronaut god-baby at the end of 2001 could come back to Earth and make a movie? It would pretty much be Tree of Life.” Amid a cluster of British journalists, one cracked that during the creation scenes, he kept expecting David Attenborough, the face of the BBC’s nature docs, to pop up.

As if to provide context about Cannes’ often over-headed instant reactions, Awards Daily’s Sasha Stone reached back and found a New York Times account of the Cannes debut of Malick’s 1978 Days of Heaven, which sounded eerily prescient: “Its visual power and its photography were generally praised, but absence of a coherent, fully developed story was lamented.” As more substantive reviews began to issue forth, the tone turned more positive. Calling the movie “mad and magnificent,” the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw wrote,”This film is not for everyone....But this is visionary cinema on an unashamedly huge scale.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy noted that it is an “exceptional and major film” but is “hardly a movie for the masses and will polarize.” While Cannes tradition demands the auteur-of-the-day show up at an official press conference, Malick opted out of making an appearance at the presser --and although Malick is in Cannes, there were conflicting reports whether he would walk the red carpet when the film formally screens Monday evening. In his place, Pitt, Chastain and producers Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad (whose River Road backed the film), Dede Gardner (Pitt’s producing partner) and Grant Hill (who oversaw visuals) stepped forward to explain the film --or at least to fend off definitive explanations. (Penn, who is on his way to the festival, had not yet arrived in town.) “Mr. Malick is very shy,” Green said by way of explaining the director’s absence. Pressed to explicate the meanings of the movie, Pohlad suggested, “One of the reasons that Terry maybe shies away from a forum like this [is that] he wants the work to stand on its own. He doesn’t want to say what it’s about.” Pitt assured the inquisitors, though, that Malick isn’t some mysterious misanthrope. “He’s quite jovial, he’s incredibly sweet, he’s laughing most of the day, he finds pleasure in the day,” Pitt explained. The actor testified that for him Malick’s particular way of working has had a lasting effect. “He’s like a guy standing there with a butterfly net, waiting for that moment to go by,” Pitt said, explaining that the director would show up every morning with fresh notes about a scene, would rarely shoot more than two takes and relied primarily on natural light. Sometimes, after Pitt and Chastain finished a take, Malick would tell the actor playing their youngest son to jump into the scene just to mix it up --they nicknamed the kid “the Torpedo” and called it “torpedo-ing a scene.”

Chastain pointed to one moment when a butterfly lands on her hand. It wasn’t scripted or created by CG graphics --it was just a moment that occurred that Malick managed to capture.

“It’s changed everything I’ve done since,” Pitt said of the lingering effects of working on the movie that was shot three years ago and will finally be released in the United States by Fox Searchlight on May 27.

Although five editors worked on the film, Green said that the movie had an unusually long post-production period by design so that Malick could refine it. In the end, though, Pohlad said the final shape of the movie, which the filmmakers decided not to take to Cannes last year because it was not yet finished, “didn’t take a dramatic turn.”
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Pas

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #239 on: May 16, 2011, 02:40:37 PM »
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Thanks Mac.

The bad reviews for this remind me of a french monthy-python-type sketch:

A young man decides to become interested in culture. He takes a Dostoievsky book and starts reading: ''Avdotya Romanovna Raskolnikova  opens the door and enters Arkady Ivanovich Svidrigaïlov room...'' he suddenly throws the book on the well and screams : ''GET TO THE POINT ALREADY!!!''

 

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