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Voyage of Time


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Black Book:

...in today's bit of fascinating Malickian news, we learn that his expansive projectVoyage of Time is looking to be completed and in theaters by 2014. In an interview with The Playlist, Malick's co-editor Billy Weber stated that the film currently has an undisclosed date and distributor lined up and is a "big IMAX film." With narration from Emma Thompson and Brad Pitt (hey, maybe not too far off from that perfume commercial mashup), the film is "aesthetically and scientifically accurate," venturing "the whole of time, from birth of the universe to its final collapse,"following "the first signs of life, bacteria, cellular pioneers, first love, consciousness, the ascent of humanity, life and death and the end of the universe." Well Malick, I tip my hat to you—that is quite an undertaking. Actually, it seems like all his films have been but hints at those very themes, this shaping up to be the amalgamation of his interests and desires.
Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Links to our threads on Badlands (1973), Days of Heaven (1978), The Thin Red Line (1998), The New World (2005), The Tree of Life (2011), To the Wonder (2012), Knight of Cups (????) and Lawless (????).

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 months later...

Terrence Malick Movie Investors Sue to Get Money Back

A few years is but a blink of an eye in Earth's 4.5 billion years of existence. But some film investors have now lost patience over Terrence Malick's Voyage of Time, alleging in a lawsuit that the reclusive director has forgotten about making a film project that he once described as "one of my greatest dreams."

According to a complaint filed in New York federal court on Friday, Malick was supposed to direct two 45-minute Imax films and a 90-150 minute feature film version of Voyage of Time. The Oscar-nominated director envisioned the project as "portray[ing] the events of our cosmic history, as well as the state of the earth now and the prospects for its future." . . .

In the lawsuit (read in full here), the investors believe that Malick has become too distracted, saying that instead of devoting his time to Voyage of Time, he has "dedicated his energies to four other films in the last five years."

In this time, Malick completed Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt, as well as To the Wonder. Two other films, including Knights of Cups, starring Christian Bale and Natalie Portman, are listed on IMDb as being in post-production.

As for Voyage of Time, a planned documentary with Pitt attached as a narrator, Sycamore and Malick have allegedly already spent $3.3 million of investment money as well as $2.5 million from a not-for-profit foundation "with nothing to show for it."

An Academy Award-winning special effects artist has quit the film "because no amount of special effects could cover up the fact that no movies existed," according to the complaint.

The film had planned shoots around the world in the Southwestern U.S., Hawaii, Iceland, Monterey, Chile, Palau and elsewhere, and some raw footage was completed, although not an "Early Man Shoot" on the Solomon Islands. Malick told the investors they were "looking for people in Papua New Guinea that embody the ferocity of our distant ancestors."

The investors, ferocious in their own right, refuse to wait around forever. . . .

The investors state their belief that the money was "co-mingled with other financial assets to support the production of other films by Malick."

"In other words," says the complaint, "SSPL was an unwitting investor in films produced, directed, and released by Malick, for which SSPL received no compensation, obligation for repayment, or equity interest in any entity." . . .

Hollywood Reporter, July 21

Terrence Malick’s Sycamore Pictures Sued By ‘Voyage Of Time’ Docu Backer

Seven Seas wants the court to force Malick to repay the $3.3 million it has invested to date and hand over any film footage and other intellectual property from the Voyage project, which also got $2.5 million from another investor. Seven Seas has distribution rights for the two 45‐minute IMAX films and one feature film covered by the agreement. According to the complaint, Malick pitched it as the crowning achievement of his career.

According to the lawsuit, the $12 million project was supposed to be done by May 1, 2013. But Seven Seas terminated the contract on February 15, 2013, when it became clear that little progress had been made on the films, deadlines had been missed, and Sycamore’s accounting appeared to be in disarray. The deal was made in late 2010 and by early 2012, Malick claimed to have shot a majority of the raw footage for the docu but never produced it.

Deadline, July 21

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I love the first comment under the Deadline story, which says, among other things: "These bastards should be happy that he even cashed their check." Ha!

But seriously, who would invest in Malick expecting him to produce *three* films simultaneously? We're talking about a guy who, until recently, had averaged something like one movie a decade, most of which had had lots of problems in post-production. A little more research could have spared the investors this agony.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 months later...

Terrence Malick’s Sycamore Fires Back Against ‘Voyage Of Time’ Docu Financiers

Lawyers for Terrence Malick said today that it’s not his Sycamore Pictures but London-based film financing company Seven Seas Partnership who is guilty of breach of contract over the director’s long-time-in-the-making Voyage Of Time documentary series. In a counterclaim (read it here) to SSPL’s July 19 complaint over the “epic film” filed Monday in federal court in New York, Malick’s company claims that the financier “concocted the story told in its Complaint and asserted its trumped-up claims as a pretext for the fact that it either ran out of, or never had, the funds necessary to meet its financing obligations under the Agreement, or otherwise decided not to continue funding VOT in breach of its contractual obligations.” Asserting that they’ve met every milestone required and calling the initial complaint “completely without merit,” Sycamore’s counterclaim also says SSPL is using its “claims to hold hostage VOT-the films Mr. Malick has been working on for most of his professional life.” In today’s filing, Sycamore is seeking either an enforcement of the parties’ agreement over the film or the return of VOT’s copyright and the extensive production materials and footage that SSPL has claimed as theirs. And with two very different sides of the story like this, let’s be clear – there’s a lot more filings to come. . . .

Deadline.com, September 23

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 5 months later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 months later...

Terrence Malick’s The Voyage of Time will be selling (but not screening) at Cannes:
 

 

Well, judging by the news in Variety this morning, The Voyage of Time apparently still hasn’t been completed, but it’s far enough along that two of the companies with international distribution rights—Wild Bunch and Sophisticated Films—will be pitching the picture at Cannes. While the companies reportedly won’t be showing potential buyers any footage in the Cannes market, they will have a selection of stills to peruse; and they’ve already begun to explain more about what The Voyage of Time is, releasing a statement that calls it, “A celebration of the Earth, displaying the whole of time, from the birth of the universe to its final collapse.”
 
Wild Bunch and Sophisticated are planning a 2016 release, and are looking to show The Voyage of Time as a feature in regular theaters, and in a truncated 40-minute IMAX version. (Much of the movie was shot with special IMAX cameras, with input from some top nature photographers.)

Edited by Ryan H.
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  • 8 months later...

Surprised no one has posted this yet:

 

IMAX, Sophisticated Films and Wild Bunch have announced that financing for "Voyage Of Time" is complete. As long rumored, the documentary will be delivered in two versions: a 40-minute IMAX cut narrated by Brad Pitt, and a 35mm feature length version narrated by Cate Blanchett.

 

Here's the official synopsis: VOYAGE OF TIME is a celebration of the universe, displaying the whole of time, from its start to its final collapse. This film examines all that occurred to prepare the world that stands before us now: science and spirit, birth and death, the grand cosmos and the minute life systems of our planet.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Well, of course the 35mm feature length version is narrated by Cate Blanchett. Compare a clip of Brad Pitt talking to a clip of Cate Blanchett talking*, and it will all make sense.

 

* in The Fellowship of the Ring

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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  • 1 year later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, Joel Mayward said:

This looks like an extended version of those universe-forming parts in The Tree of Life.

Isn't that exactly what it is? When this was announced around Tree of Life's release, my sense is that it was going to be using footage cut from The Tree of Life, supplemented with new footage.

I wonder if this film will feature the sci-fi scenes of a future humanity leaving a dying earth that were included in The Tree of Life's screenplay.

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3 hours ago, Ryan H. said:

Isn't that exactly what it is? When this was announced around Tree of Life's release, my sense is that it was going to be using footage cut from The Tree of Life, supplemented with new footage.

I wonder if this film will feature the sci-fi scenes of a future humanity leaving a dying earth that were included in The Tree of Life's screenplay.

I'm curious what footage, if any, will be totally new and distinct from The Tree of Life, as well as the differences between the 40-minute IMAX version and the full-length feature.

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  • 5 months later...

There are three versions of The New World, so why not a third version of Voyage of Time, too:

- - -

The director’s documentary short “Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience” (a condensed version of the feature that bowed at the Venice Film Festival in September) will be released in an “Ultra Widescreen” format on 21 screens nationwide beginning Dec. 9. It will be presented in a drastic 3.6:1 aspect ratio, far out-stretching the 2.76:1 width of “Hateful Eight” and films like “Ben-Hur” in the past (or certainly the 2.55:1 CinemaScope ratio revived this year in “La La Land”).

Additionally, Malick had not originally intended to use voice over, preferring only music and sound effects to accompany the stunning visuals on display. But that didn’t quite work for IMAX on the initial release, as the company sought to reach a broad audience. This new release will strip away Brad Pitt’s narration and leave viewers with the visual and aural experience the director had hoped for. . . .

The film was conceived with both the IMAX 4:3 ratio and a typical 1.85:1 aspect ratio in mind. “It’s something in cinematography that’s quite common now. You’re framing for 1.85:1 or 2.35:1, but there’s also a television version,” director of photography Paul Atkins says. “I was in the grading suite and Terry came in a couple of times so excited and he said, ‘Look at this,’ and we looked at this super widescreen version and looked at a lot of the shots with it. We were stunned at how it affected you emotionally and how immersive it was.”

The film was scanned at an ultra-dense 11K resolution, and the team would pluck certain shots out in the 3.6:1 ratio. Interestingly, it worked with the majority of shots in the film.

“That’s because when you’re framing for IMAX, the lower third of the frame is where the audience’s attention is, and that’s how you try to frame it,” Atkins says. “The top of the frame, you don’t often put important information up there. So you can actually extract a more narrow aspect ratio out of that frame and it still works.” . . .

- - -

So it sounds like the new version will just chop off the top (and maybe the bottom?) of the existing IMAX images, instead of adding new information on the sides.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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