Saturday, February 07, 2009

We Can't Wait #14 The Tree of Life

Directed by the no longer totally unprolific Terrence Malick
Starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain and three child actors (Sean Penn and Fiona Shaw also appear)
Synopsis
is vague --something about a young family in the 1950s and the loss of innocence. But do Malick's plots ever inspire "ooh!"s. No, it's the filmmaking. Bring on the shots of grass, trees and skies!

Brought to you by
Plan B Entertainment (originally founded by Brad Grey, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.

Expected Release Date
It's Malick. I won't even try to guess


Nathaniel: Malick has directed only four features in his lifetime (Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line and The New World) and each time we lose several critics to The Rapture when they surface. Since it made other lists besides mine, I assume you're disciples?

JA: I got to see Badlands on a big screen last year, and that pretty much cemented the fact that I will never ever ever miss a Malick movie on a big screen ever again. I'd only seen his films on DVD before that and, while enjoying them all, it's just not the same. So very much pretty.

And Malick's eye (via Lubezki's eye) trained on Pitt amongst that foliage has already got me standing at attention.

Joe: Oy. Not to in any way slight Badlands, because that movie was the absolute greatest, but The Thin Red Line was absolutely unbearable to me, and I didn't even make it through half of The New World before shutting it off. I'm sorry, I couldn't deal. I know this makes me middlebrow and pedestrian to say this but holy god they were just so boring. So no, this didn't exactly make my list. I love Emmanuel Lubezki, y'all, but I can just watch Children of Men again the week this one opens.

Whitney: Malick has made my top directors list for a long time, so to find out that he's directing a movie this year totally made my day. Really, I was telling everyone I knew that he was making a new movie and that Brad Pitt was starring. Even my mom, whose latest dip into the cinema world was Eagle Eye ("too much swearing") and who didn't care at all.

It will be like The Assassination of Jesse James, but with the real Malick. I wonder what thought-provoking classical music he'll choose this time??!



Fox:
I'm glad to see that The Tree of Life is shaping up to be primarily Pitt's film and that Sean Penn simply "also appears". I really don't wanna see any more of that guy for a looong (three Os!!!) time. Maybe he can vacate with the Winslets for awhile?

But, unlike Joe, I was glued to The New World and casually consider it to be the best film of the 00's. It came on and wrapped around my head for three hours (or however long it was). I get into a trance when watching Malick's films. I think his dedication to the purest form of cinema is something we should celebrate while we still have him around.

Nathaniel: I go all hypnotized, too. But don't get too excited about the absence of Penn, Fox. Malick loves the voiceover as much as I love a good musical number. I ain't exaggerating! (Weird that I love Malick so much since I despise narration as a general rule???). And since Penn is credited as "adult Jack" I assume he's one of the boys all growed up (unless his parents had a really weird sense of humor) and therefore narrating.

I'm totally curious how all the readers feel about Malick, though. Not to be terribly reductive but his visuals tend to either entrance or provide the cure for insomnia. Which is it for you out there?

In case you missed any entries they went like so...
*
We Can't Wait:
#1 Inglourious Basterds, #2 Where the Wild Things Are, #3 Fantastic Mr. Fox,
#4 Avatar, #5 Bright Star, #6 Shutter Island, #7 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
#8 Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, #9 Nailed,
#10 Taking Woodstock,
#11 Watchmen, #12 The Hurt Locker, #13 The Road, #14 The Tree of Life
#15 Away We Go, #16 500 Days of Summer, #17 Drag Me To Hell,
#18 Whatever Works, #19 Broken Embraces, #20 Nine (the musical)
intro (orphans -didn't make group list)

*

32 comments:

Mikadzuki said...

I adore him so much. Every time I watch The New World I can expect to ride on a wave of euphoria for the next 40-50 hours.

I know the expression "life-affirming" has been beaten to death by blurb writers, but I really think it applies to his films...

Anonymous said...

Entrance.

Marcelo - Brazil.

Anonymous said...

Plan B is Pitt Company. Aniston has nothing to do with that. Don`t be a fucking tabloidish

NATHANIEL R said...

anon

not tabloidish, true.

Peter said...

Whoa. Only #14? I thought this would be an easy top ten entry for sure.

Nevertheless, I love Malick's work, and am definitely looking forward to this.

Derek said...

He usually bores me to tears, but I did really like The New World, so maybe there's hope for me yet.

m. said...

I'm with Joe, don't get Malick..The thin red line remains the only movie I walked out of the theatre in the middle of

Erik L. said...

This is no. 1 for me. And RE: "The Thin Red Line":

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/11149731.html

brianmaru said...

Love me some Malick. Can watch Days of Heaven any day of the week.

Stephen said...

Love, love, love Malick.

Four films, four masterpieces. And totally great with actors, too.

Fabrizzio said...

LOVE ALL FOUR especially Days of Heaven, which is just breathtaking.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:36 is correct. Nat you are wrong.

Amid that upheaval, Pitt has emerged as the sole owner of Plan B (thanks to a recent settlement with Aniston), which was launched in 2002.

http://www.variety.com/awardcentral_article/VR1117955806.html?nav=bestpic07

Note that Aniston was not included as producer in The Departed or any other Plan B movie since. Reportly in the settlement she rec'd some undevelopment material which they purchased together. But has no financial interest in Plan B.

Anonymous said...

Brad Pitt became the sole owner of Plan B Entertainment in 2006.

We ate talking about Tree of Life. So this has nothing to do with Aniston

nothingiswritten said...

JA, I agree on seeing Malick on the big screen. My first Malick film was Days of Heaven, when it first came out. I saw it in a single-screen theatre (remember those?); the screen was therefore huge, and there were no sounds bleeding in from the action film playing next door. Just the breathtaking images, the sounds of nature, and the silences. It was years before I saw it again, but it always haunted me. Still does.

My feelings toward Malick are rather like those for Wong Kar-Wai. Yes, their films can be ponderously slow and unabashedly artsy and obscure, but they're so moody and gorgeous to look at, I just end up totally entranced and thinking, "What's wrong with making films like that?" Both directors are utterly hypnotic in my book.

cal roth said...

Love love love Malick! All his 4 movies.

Where is QOrianka Kilcher? Any news? She was TERRIFIC and I wanna see her onscreen again as soon as possible. But forget... Hollywood and its ethnic politics...

woodstock said...

*adds malick to directors study-list*

rosengje said...

Wait, people don't like Wong Kar-Wai?

Kelsy said...

I've only seen Badlands and Days of Heaven and I adored Days of Heaven. The feel of it--mostly by way of cinematography and music--is just lovely.

Catherine said...

This probably means I should watch every other Malick film, save Badlands, huh? I do have The New World recorded on my telly, but I'd prefer to watch them chronologically. So.

But I love Badlands fiercely. Seen it about 4 or 5 times by now, including once on the big screen.

NATHANIEL R said...

my god y'all anons are always so literal! it is patently false to pretend that anidtom was never a part of plan B.

But yes I am fully aware that she is no longer (though if this movie really was entirely conceived and begin after 2007 than congrats to MALICK for the fastest movie yet.aybe someday he'll be as regular as Woody Allen

Catherine said...

But do we really want Malick to be as prolific as Woody Allen? Surely somebody like him would only be hampered by a more regular release schedule?

Brian said...

Personally, I wouldn't really mind that much if Woody Allen were as prolific as Terence Malick, as long as his four completed films were Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters and Husbands and Wives, and not, say, Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, Radio Days, Celebrity and Scoop.

James Hansen said...

This is probably my #1 most awaited movie of this year. Big time. I have a friend working on the editing for it too...want the down low? I may be able to get one... Malick is fuh-mazing.

Wayne B. said...

Y'kno I loved "The New World" as much as anyone else, but my gut isn't really looking forward to this one. Haven't seen any of Malick's others, I think it's Brad Pitt's prescence. He is a great movie star, but never been attached to him as an Actor. Hopefully I'll be proved wrong.

JA said...

Richard Gere was more of a movie star than a great actor, and Malick used him splendidly. I see Pitt and Gere as very similar actually. Very very very pretty men with good acting skills that get overshadowed by how very very very pretty they are.

Wayne B. said...

JA, I don't mean to knock Pitt's acting skills/abilities, it's just I feel at times he relies too much on his natural charisma at times and doesn't ever Become his characters/roles, if that makes sense. Christian Bale on the other hand is a very very very pretty man but when I watch his movies I feel like I'm watching a bit of the life of Alfred Borden or Patrick Bateman. I guess I'm just drawn to that type of acting. I do appreciate the direction Pitt's taking his career and maybe this will be the movie that changes my mind about him.

Wayne B. said...

Oh I forgot to say that Pitt seems to be at his best in comedic roles, rather than a dramatic heavyweight, which is one of my worries about this particular movie.

Glenn said...

This was my #2. The New World was the first Malick I saw in a cinema (opening day, opening session at 10.30am only one other person in the cinema) and, like others, have made it a mission to see all of his films in the cinema. I really want his other films to get a screening of some kind because I think I'd die to see Days of Heaven on the big screen.

Anonymous said...

so boring, and jet so brilliant

Aracir said...

Malick = entrance
+ Brad Pitt..

Iim not a Brad Pitt fan, but I always end up loving his movies...

Anonymous said...

Maliks film are just beautiful. His recuring themes of nature and mankind within nature are unique and a welcome change to most of hollywoods shit. Its art.

gquinn said...

Watching The New World was like entering a dream -- one that arose from our collective unconscious. It was magnificent. For me, in Mr. Malik's films, you glimpse the transcendent and feel the presence of something ancient and beautiful.