• As enormous fans of Terrence Malick’s films (Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line), we’re anticipating his forthcoming feature The Tree of Life as breathlessly as anyone. And like everyone else, we’re frustratingly in the dark about this decades-in-gestation, years-in-production, unending-months-in-postproduction mystery movie. There has been so much unsubstantiated, free-floating guesswork about this maybe period American domestic drama/potential dinosaur epic that it’s hard to know who to listen to. That’s why we’re grateful for a new article in Pop Matters in which Paul Maher lays out, at length, everything that’s known so far about The Tree of Life, from its late-1970s origins as the “virtually unfilmable” (per Sam Shepard!) 250-page script Q to its current incarnation as an apparently special-effects-laden tale of a father and son in rural Texas, played at times by Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. We still can’t quite get our minds around it, but, thanks to Maher, at least we have all the facts (or rumors) laid out elegantly. Here’s hoping that fall 2010 release date isn’t just another vague notion.

7 comments

  • By David
    May 28, 2010
    05:48 PM

    I have to see this film! I'll be first inline at 12:00am (if they offer a 12:00am screening...they better).
    Reply
  • By Paul Maher jr.
    May 28, 2010
    06:33 PM

    Just so you know, one person complained and wanted his quote removed, and it was . . so I replaced it with another quote from Will Wallace (to me) who has starred in Tree, TTRL and TNW. He said nothing about Tree but did give me a cool example of how Malick works. For posterity, here is the original quote that was removed: “He has a very unique way of making a film. even though lines are scripted, he kind of makes things up on the fly, constantly, it is unreal. He consistently feeds scripted and unscripted lines to actors, and is very very hands on second to second, giving direction as things are happening, realizing always that if actors take the appropriate beats between his direction and their acting, then his direction can be cut out. Everything, shots, areas of shooting within a location, extras, lens choice, sound, no sound, talent, it is all up in the air until the moment he asks for it, it is amazing. He shoots 360 degrees constantly, so carted equipment must be out of the area completely, but yet close enough for changes and quick moves. a camera intern lost 50-plus pounds on Tree of Life from just the back and forth of it all. I heard stories about the bullpen on The Thin Red Line, name actors waiting in the bullpen for when he was ready for them, he knows what he is doing and makes films in an organic way. sometimes challenging for all the other departments, but the concept of flexibility must be part of your complete makeup or you will not survive on his set.”
    Reply
  • By W
    May 28, 2010
    07:45 PM

    Malick is a poet with a camera. 'Nuff said.
    Reply
  • By DYLAN P.
    May 29, 2010
    02:13 PM

    The article mentions a Criterion edition of "The Thin Red Line". Is this the truth??
    Reply
  • By Michael P.
    June 17, 2011
    12:18 PM

    will the tree of life be released on criterion?
    Reply
  • By Brando
    November 19, 2011
    09:41 PM

    yeah for real, we someone needs to do like Spike Lee and Do The Right Thing. This film deserves the Criterion treatment more than most (on the current list) in my opinion.
    Reply
  • By Jeff M.
    November 20, 2011
    08:15 PM

    Do the Right Thing is already on Criterion.....
    Reply

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