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TREE OF LIFE Secretly Screened In Austin! One Attendee Calls It Malick's Best Since BADLANDS!

Beaks here...

Reason #179 why you should always read the comments to a Vincent Gallo story written by Slashfilm's Russ Fischer: you never know when some anonymous dude will show up and start dishing on Terrence Malick's TREE OF LIFE. I don't quite understand it myself, but, for some reason, Fischer's piece about Gallo's recent scorched-earth interview prompted a knowledgeable fellow named "Stan" to spill the beans about a "secret screening" of Malick's latest film - which occurred somewhere in Austin, Texas presumably over the last week or so. Thus spake "Stan"...
[Malick] screened it to an audience of about thirty, and it’s literally 97% done. Our boss was able to see it, and called it the best film of his since “Badlands.” Emmanuel Lubezki was in attendance, as was some vfx gurus (one of which was my boss). It will not make Cannes. The visual effects aren’t done, but the footage that we’ve worked on is near complete. The reason for the delay in post is because of the amount of detail IMAX 70 MM requires. I can assure you that the results are worth the wait. Our house is referring to [the 70MM IMAX footage] as “Voyage of Time.” I don’t know if it will be a separate documentary. Terrence has made sure that we work on footage without knowing too much of the plot or reason behind it. It’s always about a feeling or an emotion. He is definitely the most interesting director we’ve had the pleasure of working with, and probably the only who’s interacted with the digital artists themselves. He has never settled for results less than immaculate, but is humble and patient about it.
Best since BADLANDS, huh? Where does that leave those of us who consider DAYS OF HEAVEN to be one of the twenty greatest films ever made? As The Playlist noted, we've no idea yet if "Stan" is for real, but this all matches up with little, not-quite-newsworthy bits of information I've heard over the last week. My understanding has always been that VOYAGE OF TIME will be a separate IMAX documentary, but that some of this footage will likely turn up in TREE OF LIFE (which will not be exhibited in IMAX). But since none of my sources are named "Terrence Malick", I refuse to pass this along as anything more than insider murmuring; as ever, we won't have a clue as to what Malick is up to until the film screens for the press - which, it seems, will probably be at Venice and/or Toronto this September. Apparition Films is expected to release TREE OF LIFE sometime this fall.

Readers Talkback
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  • April 18, 2010, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Looking forward to this

    by jimmy_009

    Shame it won't be in IMAX.

  • April 18, 2010, 11:29 p.m. CST

    A Vincent Gallo movie? Will it feature Chloe Moretz

    by Computationally

    giving fellatio? Oops, I mean Chloe Sevingy. Freudian slip. I am a Kick Ass fanboy, apologies.

  • April 18, 2010, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Well I'm not sure what to say

    by D o o d

    since this is not a confirmed story and could be total shit.<p>All I know is that I don't like Malicks work and this will be another I'll watch with interest. I hope it's a good film as all you guys keep going on about him as being an amazing director but I've still yet to see proof of that.<p>Days of Heaven, was that the one with nicole kidman and tom cruise? Cause that was shit too!

  • April 18, 2010, 11:42 p.m. CST

    all this guys flicks

    by NappyP

    and I still love New World more than all the others by a large margin. given, the older ones are not a well know as his two newer one, but New World is a movie I highly admire for many reasons.

  • April 18, 2010, 11:57 p.m. CST


    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    A motherfucking genius.

  • April 19, 2010, 12:13 a.m. CST

    D o o d

    by spaceherpe

    Um, are you thinking of the NASCAR movie Days of Thunder? No, no that was not made by Malick. Are you sure you have seen one of his beautiful films?

  • April 19, 2010, 12:17 a.m. CST

    D o o d

    by Joely_Boy

    You fuckin' idiot.

  • April 19, 2010, 12:18 a.m. CST


    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    That guy is pretty fuckin hilarious! Listened to that interview last night and enjoyed it thoroughly. Thinking about it now...a project involving Malick and Gallo would be insane!

  • April 19, 2010, 12:23 a.m. CST

    I thought D o o d meant...

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    Eyes Wide Shut! Though Malick is as close as we have nowadays to anyone like Kubrick. A dying breed unfortunately.

  • April 19, 2010, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Seth Rogan :P


    Ok this has nothing to do with this article, but i just wanted to share i live in Richmond BC, Canada, and me and the wife were just driving home from the bank and we stop at a stop light and to my right, Right in front of us was a guy who i THOUGHT was Seth, then i realized it WAS Seth, he gave us a smile and a raise of the eyebrow as he crossed the street, i know its no big thing, but its the closest i have ever come to any kind of Movie star.

  • April 19, 2010, 12:26 a.m. CST

    You know, Brown Bunny kinda sucked...

    by Grammaton Cleric

    ...but Buffalo '66 is so, so goddamned good. Malick Schmalick, I wish Vincent Gallo made more movies.

  • April 19, 2010, 12:37 a.m. CST

    Days of Heaven is overrated

    by najork

    It's like watching an Ewok movie.

  • April 19, 2010, 12:39 a.m. CST

    Wow, that last few minutes of that Gallo interview are hilarious

    by Grammaton Cleric

    "If you want to fuck Sofia all you have to say is hey baby."

  • April 19, 2010, 12:47 a.m. CST

    Re: D o o d

    by Holeman

    The above poster is correct. You are a fucking idiot.

  • April 19, 2010, 1:01 a.m. CST

    Now I'm wondering...

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    Who exactly has D o o d mistaken for Malick...Tony Scott?

  • April 19, 2010, 1:12 a.m. CST

    Hahaha, ok my mistake

    by D o o d

    the film with tom cruise and nicole kidman was Far and Away. Not days of heaven. In that case I have not seen that one and I apologise.<p>I have seen The Thin Red Line and The New World. Both highly raved but I found them both extremely tedious and boring. He's definitely not the new Kubrick because even at his lows Kubrick still managed to keep me entertained.

  • April 19, 2010, 1:13 a.m. CST


    by JohnGaltShrugged

    well since the ewok movies are INCREDIBLY underrated, it must be incredible! ;) (battle for endor all the way!)

  • April 19, 2010, 1:58 a.m. CST

    I think Beaks is right, Days of Heaven is better than Badlands.

    by BadMrWonka

    I mean, I think The Thin Red Line is better than Badlands, to be honest. I love Martin Sheen, and I get what Malick was doing with Badlands, but Days of Heaven is just so infinitely watchable, and you see its fingerprints on SO many movies since. I don't think people realize what Days of Heaven meant, in terms of what was allowable in a film in terms of visuals vs. dialogue, feeling vs. plot points, emotion vs. logistics.<p>I mean, there are plenty of films that have failed while trying to embrace that concept since, but on a smaller level, Days of Heaven really told mainstream filmmakers, "it's okay to linger, it's okay to breathe, it's okay to wait a second and let a moment pause even after we may have technically gotten all of the information we need."<p>I think Days of Heaven, in terms of it's sheer weight of influence over later films, is one of the most overlooked and underrated films of all time.

  • April 19, 2010, 2 a.m. CST

    its, not it's

    by BadMrWonka

    dammit, Wonka, you're better than that...

  • April 19, 2010, 2:10 a.m. CST

    D o o d

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    I didn't mean Malick was like Kubrick in that he entertains you. More as in him having the power and the patience to do it his way through and through. No compromises. Speaking of Malick films, have you seen that one..uh..Backdraft I think? I seriously doubt that one will bore you bro!

  • April 19, 2010, 2:17 a.m. CST


    by D o o d

    I take your point that he probably is very thorough, however, the two I have seen I found boring and prententious<p>Like I said, I've seen The Thin Red Line and The New World and those did not interest me enough to seek out any of his other movies. I don't stand alone on this, I've heard the same about his movies from many other people too.<p>I appreciate that you like his movies. More power to you, but what's with the insults..? is it because you're annonymous..? Makes you lose your manners towards people does it..? Don't forget I'm entitled to my opinion just as much as you are. I realised I made a mistake and apologised for it. Are you big enough to apologise to me for being rude? I very much doubt it!

  • April 19, 2010, 2:28 a.m. CST

    for The Thin Red Line, I get "pretentious", but "boring?"

    by BadMrWonka

    I personally don't find it pretentious, but very moving...but I get why someone would say that. it's a lot to digest, and a lot of people don't want such heavy stuff when they watch a movie. I get it.<p>but boring? I don't understand how The Thin Red Line could be considered boring by any stretch of the imagination.

  • April 19, 2010, 2:31 a.m. CST

    Just being silly D o o d...

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    ...wasn't trying to hurt your feelings or anything. Though I never really said much about whether you should like Malick's films or not. Doesn't really matter that much to me how you feel quite honestly, because I enjoy them. Isn't that all that matters in the end?<p>Are you big enough to admit you overreacted just a tiny bit? I didn't say anything nearly as insulting as those others. On this site if I'd have gotten my info as wrong as you have this time, I'd expect to be given some shit. So chill out a little? Maybe consult IMDB first?

  • April 19, 2010, 2:47 a.m. CST

    Wonka and Umpire

    by D o o d

    wonka, I guess you're right, maybe 'boring' is too harsh a word. As much as I enjoy beautiful cinematography in a movie, I also wish to be entertained (even with a serious informative message implied) Maybe I didn't care much for the subject matter in the two movies I have seen. So maybe I should take a look at Badlands which everyone raves on about.<p>Umpire, you certainly did not hurt my feelings, I only addressed you such as I feel your response was more civilised with a hint of insult. I wouldn't even waste my time on the ones that go beyond that. You are absolutely right though, I should've consulted IMDB first. I wasn't wrong though as the movie in question 'Days of Heaven' is truly terrible. Then again, I'm sure there's people out there who think it's a masterpiece!

  • April 19, 2010, 2:54 a.m. CST

    Can't wait

    by Kobaal

    This is a close #2 behind Inception for me.<p> There's nothing else even on the radar, frankly.

  • April 19, 2010, 4:04 a.m. CST

    Malick is "probably the only who’s interacted with the digital a

    by Wookie_Weed

    Er, no he's not.

  • April 19, 2010, 4:27 a.m. CST

    'Best since Badlands'

    by PaulSC

    Have to agree that Badlands isn't his best, and maybe not even his second best.

  • April 19, 2010, 5:37 a.m. CST

    THE NEW WORLD is great

    by Mr Gorilla

    I saw it on a massive screen and it totally blew me away. Art cinema on an epic canvas. Really one of the films of the decade - and my personal favourite of all Malik's films.

  • April 19, 2010, 5:40 a.m. CST

    And one day I'll spell Malick correctly.

    by Mr Gorilla

    Sorry bout that. But, yes, NEW WORLD really wonderful - I was so happy to see many people namechecking it in their films of the decade - just as I was sad that it was rather ignored when it came out. What's interesting - and maybe others can help here - is to try to pinpoint WHY it is that Makick is so special .

  • April 19, 2010, 6 a.m. CST

    Days of Heaven Is Beautiful, But...

    by Crow3711

    Is it really Top 20 Ever? I kinda found it a little on the boring side. And I like his other slow pieces...but there is like...8 lines of dialogue in that movie. Not that this is a litmus test for quality or anything, and it could have someone to do with the fact that I watched it in a film class with like 100 other people, but it just didn't move me that much. Anyone else care to chime in on Days of Heaven?

  • April 19, 2010, 6:22 a.m. CST

    Re: Dood and I quote"Days of Heaven is truly terrible"

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    Thankyou my friend. You just made it plain and simple that we are bitter foes, opposite ends of the spectrum if you will. <p> I read with interest your thoughts on people here who slander for no reason. Since you put forth your views with honesty and transparency this may come off as rather strong, so please don't take this the wrong way. <p> I fucking hate you. May the fleas of 1000 camels infest your anus. I wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire. When you were born the doctor slapped your mother in the mouth. You are the poster child for abortion. Anna Nicole Smith thought you were a waste of fucking space and when you die this world will be the better for it... <p> Like I said... No Offence.

  • April 19, 2010, 6:25 a.m. CST

    RIP Carl F. Macek passed away on Saturday, April 17, 2010 of a h

    by Dazzler69

    Man behind Robotech.

  • April 19, 2010, 6:26 a.m. CST

    by Dazzler69

    heart attack should be added to above.

  • April 19, 2010, 6:28 a.m. CST

    Dazzler69.. What has he done for me lately?

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

  • April 19, 2010, 6:28 a.m. CST

    Ace of Wands luckily i watched RTL in cinema

    by ominus

    and Ryan in dvd.thank god.

  • April 19, 2010, 6:30 a.m. CST

    THin Red Line dude. anybody who was in the Service..

    by mojoman69

    and sees that movie, gets it. Malick, like Peter Wier and Kubrick cared more about the total movie and how it would be viewed. most directors care only about the scenes

  • April 19, 2010, 7:20 a.m. CST

    ominus & Ace of Wands... I saw them both

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    Ryan was a visceral old-school war film. Cliched and flawed it nethertheless showed the chaos of war. <p> The Thin Red Line left me absolutely floored. Beautiful, poetic and multi-multi-layered it is in my honest opinion high art masquerading as pulp cinema. I could literally throw that movie on repeat and watch it forever. It flows like a river, constant and unstoppable.

  • April 19, 2010, 8:32 a.m. CST

    best living shooter

    by Ahastings

  • April 19, 2010, 8:36 a.m. CST missed D o o d's joke

    by BumLove

    He was referring to the Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman picture...."Days of Thunder".

  • April 19, 2010, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Never mind....I didn't see his follow-up post

    by BumLove

  • April 19, 2010, 9:12 a.m. CST

    One of the 20 best movies ever made, huh?

    by nothingasitseems

    Better than Anchorman? Cause we all know that's one of your all time faves. Really, nobody considers Days of Heaven one of the 20 best movies ever made. Just you. Why do you have a job here. You have no credibility. Someone should have fired your ass a long time ago.

  • April 19, 2010, 9:15 a.m. CST


    by Series7

    Talkbackers! The new hollywood insiders.

  • April 19, 2010, 10:23 a.m. CST

    I'm just really excited for it

    by Jaka

    Period. Don't really care what it compares to. Glad AICN is geekin' out on this one, though.

  • April 19, 2010, 10:25 a.m. CST

    I agree Beaks.

    by HoboCode

    Badlands is great, but that really does seem to dismiss DOH. Hell I think TTRL is his greatest achievement and I'm also a HUGE fan of the DC of The New World. so maybe thta makes me a Malick "fanboy?" Badlands is IMO his most mainstream work, so perhaps this reviewer has not enjoyed the way Malick's style has developed since then.

  • April 19, 2010, 10:41 a.m. CST

    The Thin Red Line

    by HagCeli

    was BY FAR Malick's best film, it's one of the best war films, and probably one of the 20 best films ever made. DAYS OF HEAVEN however is an aesthetically stirring but very boring and forgettable affair...

  • April 19, 2010, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Days of Heaven

    by MediaNerd

    Flat out amazing cinematography. The color, my god. This was before DI Color, before every sky in a film was digitally replaced. That was all filmed, in camera, at magic hour -- which means if you're lucky you can shoot 30mins in the morning and 30 at evening. Amazing skill and timing.<Br><br> The only film I didn't care much for was New World, but that might be because I'd done a Malick marathon and was a little worn out by then. Needs another look. Bad Lands is probably my #2 from Malick.

  • April 19, 2010, 11:15 a.m. CST

    I'm almost as pleased by those who scratch their heads...

    by rbatty024

    at Malik's work as I am by those who appreciate his films. A great artist has to be willing to alienate people. I, for one, cannot wait for this to be released in theaters.

  • April 19, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Days of Heaven

    by Shaner Jedi

    is my personal favorite of Malick's. Better than Badlands.

  • April 19, 2010, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Thin Red Line is a great parody of war films.

    by Flip63Hole

    But also a great sleeping aid: slept in the theater when it came out. Rented it, fell asleep. Tried to watch it on cable: zzzzzz... I'll take Kubrick when I want a meticulous film. At least they're entertaining...

  • April 19, 2010, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Reason #179 why you should always read the comments

    by gotilk

    to a Vincent Gallo story written by Slashfilm's Russ Fischer: Chances are, even the mildly retarded people commenting hilariously hand Gallo his ass on a golden fucking platter. Very entertaining.<br><br> Great actor, interesting director/writer,bad at being a human being.

  • April 19, 2010, 1:07 p.m. CST


    by Rebeck2

    I just want to reiterate and expound on the premise so eloquently expressed by my fellow talkbackers... You're a fuckin' idiot. You can't ask for your criticism of a great if controversial filmmaker to be taken seriously when you don't even know the difference between "Days Of Heaven" and "Far And Away". Which, by the way, have nothing in common. I'm fucking tool. And then you get all weepy because people insult you. If you're going to trash someone whose work other people love, here's an idea, know what the fuck you're talking about. It helps the conversation so much. AND, if you don't know jack shit, then Option B would be to not post at all. Always appreciated if you're completely ignorant. Okay? These are just the rules of talkback. If I come on and say Kubrick is overrated and give my own personal reasons why I think this, I will most likely get intelligent responses - if I say Kubrick's movie "Children Of The Corn" is the worst example of his cold emotionless perfectionism, then I really deserve whatever's coming my way. Got it? Good.

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  • April 19, 2010, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Dood, I Apologize

    by Rebeck2

    Putting an ad for handbags on a talkback is much worse.

  • April 19, 2010, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Better then DAYS OF HEAVEN?

    by AsimovLives

    That's one mighty infered statement rigth there! Hard to believe too.

  • April 19, 2010, 3:10 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I persoanlly loved THE THIN RED LINE, but try watch it at 1 AM after a day's work, like i and my friends did when we first watched it in the theater, and it can be testing. Real testing.

  • April 19, 2010, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Vincent Gallo is a bona-fide narcissist...

    by BadWaldosRevenge

    Really, who listens to and reads the interviews with Mr. Gallo without coming away with the impression this man is full of himself, seeking adulation and bragging how he's smarter than thou? Terrence Malick doesn't go around seeking adulation. He's damn humble because he had a superior college education (Heidegger scholar and into metaphysics & philosophy) and grounded Texan personality. Gallo and Malick are the opposite of the artistic spectrum, with Gallo being shamelessly indulgent and Malick being "artistically" contemplative.<p>The Thin Red Line will definitely come to Blu-ray under the banner of Criterion Collection, but I'm still waiting for the missing footages re-integrated in a definitive cut (4, 5 or 6-hour) by Malick, with Adrien Brody's significant character part restored. Cinematographer John Toll admitted to Charlie Rose he and some associates had to confiscate the cut of TTRL from Malick to complete editing in time for winter/award season.<p> Malick takes very, very long to "properly" edit the film in emotionally taut and dialogue-sparse elements, like it took him two years to complete editing The Days of Heaven after shooting production ended, much to annoyance of the producers. However, this contemplative approach is worth it since it takes good editing to "find" the film, as it does for Malick as an unique artist who directs the scenes, nature and actors, for the editors and musician to work their hands. James Horner lamblasted Malick's editorial approach to music in an interview. Mr. Horner was probably ignorant of the fact that Malick is like a shell -- he doesn't give a shit what anyone thought of his artistic approaches, including his peers (agent, studio execs, producers, friends) and crew who might have expectation working with Malick would be smooth sailing. I would think Malick is possibly the last living man of the great "old-wisdom" filmmakers after Sam Peckinpah, Sam Fuller, David Lean, Hal Ashby (pre-80's) and Stanley Kubrick. I don't count Scorsese because he's a hack after laughably contrived idiocy of The Departed (watch the edited version on FX; it's comedy gold), but he gets credit for mentioning TTRL the second-best movie of the 90's decade.<p>Terry Malick's contribution to film as an art form, besides exploitation and bad art in commercialization, is invaluable because since Kubrick's untimely passing, Malick remains to aptly demonstrate that with meditative-educational-philosophical-environmental approach to filmmaking (except for hacks who fail at this advanced course like Spike Jonze and Sofia Coppola), filmic art is a noble archievement, but only for those who dare to jump ahead to new boundaries without deliberately disrespecting and offending the audiences i.e. boring audiences to death with pretentious and meandering avart-garde bullshit.<p>Malick will always be an inspiration to me, because he refuses convention in real-life and in approach to film as cinema both in thoughtful entertainment and non-contrived rumination on human-nature relationship. What Kubrick achieved with 2001: A Space Odyssey, Malick might with TREE OF LIFE or IMAX variation on the cosmos. And it took Kubrick's contemplative attitude to form 2001 as one of the best films ever made (in spite of sparse dialogue) after excising 20 minutes of probably extraneous footage from premiere cut for final cut. Artists are revisionists and interpreters of our reality, and Malick is the last damn good filmmaker to pull this off with a professional, worldly touch.

  • April 19, 2010, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Vicent Gallo is crazy.... D'UHHH!

    by AsimovLives

    And who the fuck thinks that guy is handsome? What's so fascinating about his hobo look? Have you guys ever saw him with a beard? He makes Rasputini look like Brad Pitt! Really, what's the fucking appeal of that guy?

  • April 19, 2010, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Considering That BADLANDS Sucked Donkey Balls...

    by eddie_norton

    ...well, what can I say about th most famous hack of our time?

  • April 19, 2010, 6:43 p.m. CST

    BADLANDS sucked balls??

    by AsimovLives

    You think being a movie geek comes in the cereals? You think it's a free lunch? Think again, brother.

  • April 19, 2010, 9:55 p.m. CST

    I call bullshit.

    by ColonelFatheart

    No other details? Gimme a fucking break.