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The Tree of Life (2011)

Terrence Malick

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#61 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:36 AM

Desplat works hard for the money
Desplat -- tall, slender and raven-haired at 49 -- is doing what he's dreamed of ever since age 6 when he saw "Spartacus," with its classic score by Alex North, on the bigscreen. His calling card is his diversity and his ability to bring a fresh approach to the most time-worn genres.
"If you dream of one day working with Polanski or Terrence Malick or Stephen Frears, what do you do? 'Oh no, I'm a bit tired?' You just do it."
The Malick project, "The Tree of Life," is one of the most anticipated films of 2011, and Desplat began work on it as far back as 2007. As usual in Malick films, the score shares space with classical cues, in this case Ligeti and Berlioz, among others. Desplat also had to work largely without the benefit of images. He describes his contribution as orchestral, meditative and trance-like.
"(Malick) always told me that the music should be like a river flowing through the film," says Desplat, "and that's what I tried to achieve -- something that flows and never stops, very alive and fluid. He just wants you to create something that maybe he hasn't thought about."
Variety, December 11

#62 Overstreet

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:07 PM

The trailer is up at Apple!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRa4OBpChZo

#63 Overstreet

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:31 PM

Malick's films don't make good movie trailers. Pretty pictures & perfume-commercial poetry. I'll probably love the film. I kind of hate the trailer.

Edited by Overstreet, 15 December 2010 - 01:31 PM.


#64 Ryan H.

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:40 PM

Pretty pictures & perfume-commercial poetry. I'll probably love the film. I kind of hate the trailer.

I'm not a big Malick fan to begin with, so I wondered whether it was just me being a grouch. I'm heartened to see that a Malick fan such as yourself had a similar reaction.

Edited by Ryan H., 15 December 2010 - 01:42 PM.


#65 Overstreet

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:46 PM

Malick's films seem to me to be part of one larger unified work. The interior monologues are meaningful and vital to the films. The experience of overlapping, interweaving interior monologues in the Extended Cut of The New World is a revelation. In sound-bites like these, they just sound pretentious, sentimental, and aggravating.

#66 M. Leary

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:53 PM

Malick's films seem to me to be part of one larger unified work. The interior monologues are meaningful and vital to the films. The experience of overlapping, interweaving interior monologues in the Extended Cut of The New World is a revelation. In sound-bites like these, they just sound pretentious, sentimental, and aggravating.


I made a case somewhere that the female figure (and her ongoing monologue) in Malick's cinema matures and develops a greater self-awarness over the course of his filmography. This is why I always find the end of The New World so stunning. That observant female presence in Badlands and Days of Heaven finally stands on its own two legs and explains itself, or comes to grips with itself. Mother, daughter, wife, lover. All these roles finally click into focus, and Malick lets that bubble over into exaltation.

So yeah, I also picture one giant Malick work that has unfolded, and hopefully will continue to unfold.

Edited by M. Leary, 15 December 2010 - 01:55 PM.


#67 old wave

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:58 PM

Malick's films don't make good movie trailers. Pretty pictures & perfume-commercial poetry. I'll probably love the film. I kind of hate the trailer.



Pretty pictures & perfume-commercial poetry. I'll probably love the film. I kind of hate the trailer.

I'm not a big Malick fan to begin with, so I wondered whether it was just me being a grouch. I'm heartened to see that a Malick fan such as yourself had a similar reaction.



You're both crazy. I'm attempted to put the trailer alone on my top 10 films of 2010 list.


#68 Ryan H.

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 02:09 PM

You're both crazy. I'm attempted to put the trailer alone on my top 10 films of 2010 list.

It's got some nice razzle dazzle, but it's all brought together in a way that makes it seem twee and portentous (the music doesn't help). Reminds me of those "inspirational" posters people put up in office buildings and things like that. That trailer represents the film that I fear THE TREE OF LIFE will be.

The dangerous thing about this film is that it could oh-so-easily be very, very sentimental. If this story was in the hands of, say, Spielberg, I guarantee you that this film would be a disaster. But since I've never found any of the Malick films I've seen to be as syrupy as this trailer, it's entirely possible that my fears are unfounded.

Edited by Ryan H., 15 December 2010 - 02:19 PM.


#69 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 05:38 PM

M. Leary wrote:
: I made a case somewhere that the female figure (and her ongoing monologue) in Malick's cinema matures and develops a greater self-awarness over the course of his filmography.

What about the male figure(s)?

#70 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:34 PM

I'll admit I didn't see The New World when it first came out because the trailer absolutely bored me. But that was before I had even paid attention to who Terence Malick was.

Now that I know what it's actually a preview of, this one gives me chills - at least just a little bit. Now that I'm appreciative of Malick's films, I understand what the short clips on here portend. Looks like it's going to be fantastic, but we already knew that.



#71 M. Leary

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 09:23 PM

What about the male figure(s)?


That is tougher. Part of the issue there is that Malick himself, as an author and/or philosopher, is always a very dominant male presence in his films. Maybe this film will provide good fodder for an essay on that topic.

#72 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 11:08 PM

FWIW, my query was sparked by the conspicuous absence of The Thin Red Line from your list of Malick reference points -- and of course, that was a profoundly masculine film, being a war movie and all. It's been so long since I've seen it, though, that I can't recall if there might have been any female voice-overs in that one. (One of the soldiers gets a letter from a wife or girlfriend who dumps him, if I recall correctly; perhaps we hear her voice then?)

FWIW, I also can't recall if there are any male voice-overs in Malick's first two films, though I definitely remember the ones in The New World.

#73 Nathan Douglas

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 02:34 AM

If my recent viewing of the extended cut of The New World did anything, it catapulted Malick onto my list of filmmakers who I have absolute confidence in. I can't wait for this.

The voice-overs are part and parcel with Malick. I don't find them annoying. If anything, I'm encouraged. I was shocked by how effective the voice-overs in The New World were, not just in creating a prayerful atmosphere but by how they never felt intrusive. I'm expecting similar results here.

@Peter: I think Gere may have done some voice-over in Days of Heaven, but can't be certain.

Edited by N.W. Douglas, 16 December 2010 - 02:36 AM.


#74 Ryan H.

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 06:39 AM

I do think that, in some capacity, TREE OF LIFE is going to prove a controversial film around these parts, even among folk who have liked Malick's work to date. This film is built around empty, "spiritual but not religious" notions about suffering, life, and death; at times, it seems like the kind of story an Oprah-endorsed "spiritual guru" might have put together. In the telling, THE TREE OF LIFE might transcend the triteness of its core ideas and become something profound, but it won't escape them entirely.

Edited by Ryan H., 16 December 2010 - 12:04 PM.


#75 M. Leary

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 09:02 AM

@Peter: I think Gere may have done some voice-over in Days of Heaven, but can't be certain.


I am pretty sure there is not. Time to watch it again.

#76 BethR

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 11:05 AM


@Peter: I think Gere may have done some voice-over in Days of Heaven, but can't be certain.


I am pretty sure there is not. Time to watch it again.

Certainly worth watching again, but you'll find all the voice-over narration is by young Linda Manz. This movie made an indelible impression on me.

#77 Overstreet

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 01:51 PM

Certainly worth watching again, but you'll find all the voice-over narration is by young Linda Manz. This movie made an indelible impression on me.


Yep. The film opens with her wonderful mediative interior monologue, which comes and goes.

#78 vjmorton

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 01:53 PM

In sound-bites like these, [Malick's interior monologues] just sound pretentious, sentimental, and aggravating.


Two hours of them is about 120 times worse.

Someone below put his finger (specifically re TREE OF LIFE) on why Malick's religiosity doesn't speak to me -- in between being bored stiff, all I've gotten out of THIN RED LINE and THE NEW WORLD (sans the coda) just seems like an Oprah-esque, airy-fairy wisp of transcendentalist "spirituality."

#79 Overstreet

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 02:14 PM

Someone below put his finger (specifically re TREE OF LIFE) on why Malick's religiosity doesn't speak to me -- in between being bored stiff, all I've gotten out of THIN RED LINE and THE NEW WORLD (sans the coda) just seems like an Oprah-esque, airy-fairy wisp of transcendentalist "spirituality."


Sigh.

I am sad for you.

#80 vjmorton

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 03:00 PM


Someone below put his finger (specifically re TREE OF LIFE) on why Malick's religiosity doesn't speak to me -- in between being bored stiff, all I've gotten out of THIN RED LINE and THE NEW WORLD (sans the coda) just seems like an Oprah-esque, airy-fairy wisp of transcendentalist "spirituality."


Sigh.

I am sad for you.

I think BADLANDS is pretty awesome as he hadn't yet become "Terrence Malick" -- the genre material and real-life story grounded things. And I haven't seen DAYS OF HEAVEN. It's the late ones that are the snoozers -- THIN RED LINE is a war film narrated by the only WW2 Grunts who majored in philosophy.





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