Author Topic: The Tree of Life  (Read 102946 times)

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Vertigo 77

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #570 on: August 26, 2011, 05:13:51 PM »
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http://www.amazon.com/Tree-of-Life-Blu-ray

Looks like you can pre-order the blu-ray now.
Seems to me the American cover is an improvment.

Reelist

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #571 on: September 03, 2011, 06:10:13 PM »
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I Downloaded a really shitty copy of this that looks like a 1980's VHS and is cropped really small, but it's still not a cam. I was very intent on watching it but then I remembered someone commenting this on the torrent:

Quote from: PirateBayUser
Why would you download even a decent version of a Malick movie? His movies change peoples lives, I would wait at least 264 dvdrip lol

made me change my mind.
You can go to places in the world with pudding. That. Is. Funny.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #572 on: September 03, 2011, 06:27:19 PM »
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I Downloaded a really shitty copy of this that looks like a 1980's VHS and is cropped really small, but it's still not a cam. I was very intent on watching it but then I remembered someone commenting this on the torrent:

Quote from: PirateBayUser
Why would you download even a decent version of a Malick movie? His movies change peoples lives, I would wait at least 264 dvdrip lol

made me change my mind.

I saw that rip too (though elsewhere). There was a sample to download, which looks horrible and exactly as you described. I seriously hope no one watches that.
"Hunger is the purest sin"

Alexandro

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #573 on: October 23, 2011, 12:48:28 PM »
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what a movie!
I feel truly sorry for people who can't be bothered to think for two seconds about why the film shows the things it shows, and why.
Love the discussions that have been happening on this thread about it, the film more than deserves them.

To see it only once is obviously not enough, but I have certain impressions:

* the first 40, 45 minutes are an uninterrupted orgasm. in fact they're so good the film kind of loses some steam after them (around the moment pitt goes for a business trip).
* the last third of the movie felt a little too long this first viewing.
* Every musical selection is INCREDIBLE.
* Lubeszki has to win every possible award for this.
* This is the best portrait / recreation of childhood in the history of cinema.
* Yes, it's amazing how similar the creation sequences are in this film and in Fantasia. This one was better.
* I had a big problem with the last sequence. It was disturbingly close to looking like a U2 video. I understand the complain of approaching cheesiness. maybe on a second viewing I will not be that bothered by it, but it certainly felt like a letdown this first time around.

All in all, we're lucky this film exists.

O.

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #574 on: October 23, 2011, 02:03:27 PM »
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I've seen this movie twice now, and I will still and always believe (this opinion having no chance of changing) the film would 75% better without the stupid ass whispered voice-overs. Every single time I was like :roll:
superb

BB

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #575 on: October 24, 2011, 02:06:11 AM »
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I've seen this movie twice now, and I will still and always believe (this opinion having no chance of changing) the film would 75% better without the stupid ass whispered voice-overs. Every single time I was like :roll:

For me, this sort of argument is immaterial. You sometimes see similar things said about the "emotional distance" in Kubrick or the over-lapping dialogue in Altman movies. Were it not for the voice-overs, The Tree of Life would be an entirely different film. Evidently, a film you would prefer. But a different film. By no means am I saying you're not entitled to dislike the voice-overs. That's completely understandable. But if we're gonna talk about the film, we've gotta talk about the film.

As I've now started to talk about the film, I may as well drudge up the months old debate regarding the beach scene at the end. I apologize, but I've only just read through the previous pages.

SPOILERS (did I do that right?)

It seems kinda odd to me that people would knock TOL for its use of archetypes (I'll use the word "archetypes" in place of "clichés" as the latter means essentially the same thing, though pejoratively so) while holding up The Thin Red Line and The New World as examples of Malick's former glory. I mean, the recurring dialectic of innoncence and experience, selflessness and selfishness, dreamer and realist between Witt and Welsh; Bell's Dear John letter; the whole Tall and Staros plot, which leans heavily on Paths of Glory and others; the whole fucking John Smith/Pocahontas love story; the relativism of cultural norms theme; the frolicking in the grass as implied fucking. Nothing too original or outstanding about any of these examples and you could easily find more.

Even Days of Heaven (which is my absolute favourite of his films, though I love them all) draws its plot from The Wings of the Dove. And, like TOL, much of its imagery from the Bible. And Badlands is but a take on the Bonnie and Clyde story (I know that it's actually Starkweather and Fugate, but you see my point). It's just kinda what he does. Out and out, balls to the walls originality of the kind found in 2001 just doesn't seem to be his bag (style aside). But to dismiss the films on account of these things would be a gross oversight of all the richness beneath.

As Malick's style has evolved so too has his treatment of character. Where Badlands and DOH (d'oh) are very much about those specific people (and DOH less so), Witt and Welsh are as much ideas as they are beings. Same goes for Tall and Staros, arguably. And Pocahontas and Smith loom large as popular historical figures, flushed out with specifics, but nonetheless representational. And, of course, Mr. Nature and Mrs. Grace. This nobody seems to have much of a problem with. Yet it essentially serves the same function as the Shores of Eternity scene.

Obtuse though his films may be, these familiar ideas situate us as viewers. Much like the voice-overs, moving from external in Badlands and DOH (where they are epistolary and conversational) to TTRL and on (where they are completely internal, beyond inner monologue or actual rational thoughts, just raw materials). As he pushes us away with jump-cuts and abstract imagery, he draws us closer with points of accessibility, things we may share, collective experience.

There's even a quote from one of Malick's few interviews where he addresses this very subject:

"When people express what is most important to them, it often comes out in clichés. That doesn’t make them laughable; it’s something tender about them. As though in struggling to reach what’s most personal about them they could only come up with what’s most public."

So, yeah, there's no denying that the beach scene is archetypal or cliché or whatever. But it strikes a tender chord in some. Which is foremostly what Malick seems to be getting at (see also the beautiful cinematography and bravado technique). The intellectual merits of his films, of which there are plenty, seem secondary to me. That's really the only defense that I can offer for TOL in general.

Sorry for the long, rambling post. But this was good practice for the upcoming holiday season where I will doubtlessly be confronted on this topic by hostile relatives.

Stefen

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #576 on: October 24, 2011, 02:24:33 AM »
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^ best post ever.
Let's go to a motel. We don't have to do anything -- we could just swim.

socketlevel

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #577 on: October 24, 2011, 10:56:09 AM »
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Put it back in your pants man.
the one last hit that spent you...

BB

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #578 on: October 24, 2011, 12:12:28 PM »
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Put it back in your pants man.

No. Pull it out man! Let's party!

O.

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #579 on: October 24, 2011, 01:35:08 PM »
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OK. Now, pragmatically, how would you defend how difficult it was to make out what they were saying?
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squints

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #580 on: October 24, 2011, 06:10:02 PM »
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I had a difficult time understanding what they were saying in the VO, especially early on in the film.
But it didn't really matter because to me it doesn't matter what the fuck they're saying in the VO or in the actual scene itself, diagetic or non-diagetic.
Doesn't matter because Malick is painting with moving images; he's telling a story with images rather than furthering the "plot" through long scenes of exposition through dialogue. In much the same way Ron Fricke made Baraka, Koyanissqatsi, or Chronos, or what Kubrick did with 2001, or even the virtual absence of dialog in Drive (thats kind of a stretch but) there totally exists a "story" there but its told through the LANGUAGE OF CINEMA in the most true-to-the-medium fashion possible. They're writing lines of poetry through shot selection, lighting, editing, sound, juxtaposition, and subtle but powerful performances from the actors. The words are and were the last thing on my mind throughout the film.
“The myth by no means finds its adequate objectification in the spoken word. The structure of the scenes and the visible imagery reveal a deeper wisdom than the poet himself is able to put into words and concepts” – Friedrich Nietzsche

O.

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #581 on: October 24, 2011, 09:16:37 PM »
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Yes. That's why I feel the V.O. is a pretentious (though I hate to use the word) redundancy. It kills a lot of the film for me. I *personally* feel it could be done away with and the film would be just as good if not finer.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #582 on: October 24, 2011, 10:30:21 PM »
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Yes. That's why I feel the V.O. is a pretentious (though I hate to use the word) redundancy. It kills a lot of the film for me. I *personally* feel it could be done away with and the film would be just as good if not finer.

Honestly there were a lot of little things about the film that weren't quite perfect for me, but somehow that didn't detract from the experience at all. For example, I can hardly imagine the voiceovers taking me out of the film. No, I couldn't make them all out, but I wasn't necessarily trying to. They work pretty well on a subconscious level.

As has been said a million times in this thread, if you don't surrender to this movie, it will not work for you.
"Hunger is the purest sin"

Stefen

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #583 on: October 25, 2011, 01:57:53 AM »
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Yes. That's why I feel the V.O. is a pretentious (though I hate to use the word) redundancy. It kills a lot of the film for me. I *personally* feel it could be done away with and the film would be just as good if not finer.

Honestly there were a lot of little things about the film that weren't quite perfect for me, but somehow that didn't detract from the experience at all. For example, I can hardly imagine the voiceovers taking me out of the film. No, I couldn't make them all out, but I wasn't necessarily trying to. They work pretty well on a subconscious level.

As has been said a million times in this thread, if you don't surrender to this movie, it will not work for you.

 :yabbse-thumbup: it has some faults, but it's close to flawless.

I hate the religious stuff going on. When she points to the sky and tells her infant child, "that's where God lives" I didn't like it. But there's so much to love about it that it's easy to overlook the nit-picky stuff. The beginning of time sequence is really something special. That coupled with the boys growing up and the way it's edited into one seamless montage is really, really awe inspiring.
Let's go to a motel. We don't have to do anything -- we could just swim.

Fernando

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Re: The Tree of Life
« Reply #584 on: October 25, 2011, 04:42:44 PM »
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finally saw this beautiful beast, I can rest in peace now.

 

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