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Malick's "Cinema-Changing" TREE OF LIFE Screened At Telluride!

Beaks here...

When critics and journalists departed for the Telluride Film Festival a week or so ago, many were hoping that Terrence Malick's TREE OF LIFE would be one of the fest's "secret screenings". Turns out it was. For six people. None of whom were critics. According to indieWIRE'S Anne Thompson, Malick's highly-anticipated (and long-delayed) fifth feature screened twice: once for Sony Pictures Classics and once for Fox Searchlight (as was reported last week, the latter wound up acquiring the movie from the struggling Apparition Films). Both groups saw a "cut-down" two-hour-and-fifteen-minute version of the film, which one of Thompson's sources called "cinema changing". That the film is receiving anonymous raves is nothing new; that it's now running well under three hours is, as most of the early reactions have clocked the film in the 180-minute range. Unsurprisingly, Thompson says that every major film festival in the first half of 2011 wants TREE OF LIFE. Cannes would seem the obvious destination, but if the movie is a particularly tough commercial sell (despite the presence of Brad Pitt and Sean Penn), a Sundance or Berlin bow could make sense. For those hoping TREE OF LIFE could make be a surprise Oscar contender this year, Thompson stresses that any kind of 2010 release is out of the question.

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  • Sept. 13, 2010, 4:57 p.m. CST


    by yourSTEPDADDY

    give me a plot synopsis!

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 4:59 p.m. CST


    by RPLocke

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Fucking your eyeballs to a coma, that is

    by Flip63Hole

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Go, Malick!

    by Chesterfield Slacks

    Show those wanna-be directors how to make visual poetry, dude!

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Sean Penn?

    by SmokingRobot

    I can skip this one.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 5:43 p.m. CST

    The terms "game-changing" or "cinema-changing"

    by BetterCallSaul

    are so overused they are now devoid of all meaning.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Ugh. More walking shots with poetry.

    by Fah-Cue

    No thanks. This guy couldn't wipe Kubrick's dead ass.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 6:23 p.m. CST


    by Manatee

    Film critics should embrace this description. As in, "After viewing this film, you'll have to change your diaper!"

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 6:41 p.m. CST

    the best game changers (at least in tv)

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    Wesly gettin stabbed in Angel, Boyd revealed as the Big Bad in Dollhouse, and a pussy doctor cryin about goin back somewhere meaningless...

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Just so you know...

    by Fah-Cue

    "Saving Private Ryan" was a great war film. "Thin Red Line" was a weak Hallmark card.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 7 p.m. CST

    Well, that's something I guess...

    by The Dark Nolan

    Still, where the heck's the trailer?

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 7:02 p.m. CST


    by shanksworthy

    LOL! Your comment made me shit MY diapers.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 9:06 p.m. CST

    It is a big mistake not to release this

    by James_Camera_On

    at year end for the Oscars. Of course, Hollywood doesn't listen to me as some may have noticed, so we have to accept what we get. Personally, my biggest concern is: will it make money? My guess is without the yearend release, it doesn't have a change. Look, I'm a huge Malick fan, but the notion that this is going to leave audiences gasping is not realistic. And as for game-changing, I doubt it. Avatar was a game-changer, because it made big bucks, the only way that counts. I'm not happy with that but money talks and hype walks. At the end of any movie, it's still just a movie. No one flew home on a dragon or painted themselves blue after seeing Avatar. Whatever Malick has up his sleeve with "Tree of Life," I really can't see people quitting their jobs or changing their political beliefs because of it. All I see instead is a huge disappointment. People will walk out of the theater saying, "You mean, that's it?" If it had been treated just like a regular movie, instead of the effin' second coming, it might have had a chance. Now it will be 2011's answer to Scott Pilgram. Fighting words by now, I suppose.

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 11:26 p.m. CST


    by Mr Lucas

    was going to change the way cities were planned...apparently. That went well :)

  • Sept. 13, 2010, 11:53 p.m. CST



    Wrong war. THE THIN RED LINE was set during World War II.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 12:09 a.m. CST

    I need to see this movie ASAP

    by peopleintrees

    No trailer?!?!

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 1:01 a.m. CST


    by chewyou812

  • but i am still really looking forward to it.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 2:08 a.m. CST

    It will be Cinema Changing all right

    by RPLocke

    right from the Cinema to DVD.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 5:01 a.m. CST

    What a bummer, yeah right...

    by Darrenjiju

    The Tree of Life, hopefully it will shed more light than the tree from the Fountain!

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 6:34 a.m. CST

    BetterCallSaul's post was AMAZING

    by gruntybear

    I'm SO EXCITED for his next one. (If you didn't "get" that, my god, you're thick.)

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 8:07 a.m. CST

    I'll pass...

    by Wes_Reviews_

    For those that actually go watch it, I hope it's not as shitty as The Thin Red Line was.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 8:12 a.m. CST

    I agree...

    by impetus

    ...with every negative comment in this thread.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Hey Beaks!!!!

    by Russman

    How about giving a quick log line about the movie's subject. Christ... now I gotta go crawl through the web to find out what it's all about.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 8:59 a.m. CST

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    by adismith

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  • Sept. 14, 2010, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Malick is a God.

    by Knuckleduster

    Most anticipated film of the year (or next year). <p> Second most anticipated: Black Swan. <p> Third most anticipated: Jackass 3D (don't judge).

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 11:23 a.m. CST

    I thought that the visual splendor of 'The New World'

    by Sepulchrave

    was marred by pointless romantic voiceover. If they'd stuck to ambient sounds and a little, perfectly chosen music (the Wagner at the beginning was so wonderful that I actually decided that I like Wagner). Voiceover is training wheels for the visually illiterate.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Definitely piqued my interest, but...

    by braddavery

    I haven't truly enjoyed a Malick film yet. Granted I have only seen 2 or 3, but still. This guy gets so much smoke blown up his ass and I have been disappointed on 2 or 3 occasions.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 1:24 p.m. CST


    by thommcg

    Hahaha, "Nam' movie". Classic.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Just been listening to The Thin Red Line soundtrack

    by UGG

    and noticed how much Zimmer recycled it for Inception.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 4:31 p.m. CST

    "Cinema Changing"..???

    by D o o d

    Really? and what gives it that title..?

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 6:08 p.m. CST

    I really liked Malick's The New World.

    by rabidfnark

    It was beautiful, and I'd love to revisit it in HD. However, it was also extremely deliberate and paced rather slowly (not a problem, per se). So being the ADD addled person I am, I had to take breaks (walk around, talk to someone, splash some water on my face... shit like that). Of course, in the end I was glad I made it, but was tough goin' for a while. Obviously I saw it at home, so unless Tree of Life is paced dramatically differently (and I doubt it will be. All his films that I've seen are slowly Paced) I don't think I'll be seeing it in a theater. Just saying.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Saving Private Ryan isn't worthy of

    by Van_Dammes_Forehead_Lump

    wiping The Thin Red Line's asshole. Truth.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 7:07 p.m. CST


    by D o o d

    I get that you liked The New World and I respect your opinion. However, you are spot on about the pure torture of the length and pace of it. I'll be honest, I saw it at a preview screening, so there was no way for me to walk out, otherwise I would've done. I found it like torture.<p>I can honestly say that there's a few films I dislike, and The New World is one of them.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Yeah, slow films are like torture for me...

    by rabidfnark

    My most recent bout was with 'Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' (glad I made through that, too. Even though there were no surprises (having read the book)). And I get that you DIDN'T like 'The New World'. Hell, your opinion's every bit as valid as mine. Actually, (to be completely honest) I didn't exactly go around singing its praises to all my friends. It was, however, one of the few things my (then) girlfriend and I jointly decided to rent that I didn't hate (even she wanted to shut it off at one point, but what can I say... the stark beauty of the scenes in the woods won me over). And you say that you were trapped at a preview screening? Then it's as likely as not that you saw a version with a longer run time than the final "YAAAH!" is all I can think to say. I'm glad you made it out with your sanity in tact.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 8:28 p.m. CST

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    by D o o d

    is much more rewarding than than The New World. It was long and slow, but it had a lot going for it. The print of the The New World that I saw was the theatrical release. Tree of Life is going to have to get some spectacular reviews like Inception has before I go see it..!

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 9:04 p.m. CST

    You know, I was just thinking about this earlier:

    by rabidfnark

    How I'm much more able to sit through some mindless PG-13 action tripe with explosions and fight scenes, then I am a three and a half hour long Oscar winner. I mean I'll give the Oscar winner a go eventually, but I'll need to pause that sucker at some point. Thank God for people like Nolan and Aronofsky (there are others, of course, but these were the two at the forefront of my mind), or I doubt I'd ever see anything truly intelligent in theaters. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love going to the movies, but if my choices are The Expendables or Gone with the Wind (and I have to sit there in an uncomfortable seat and sticky floors without pause), then I'm going to the one where Stallone shoots people. Maybe this makes me a philistine (although, I never said I wouldn't watch GWTW (I have...just under the right circumstances)), I don't know. I DO know however that I'm glad you didn't have to sit through some extended cut of The New World. Small favors and whatnot, huh?

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 9:16 p.m. CST

    I had this conversation with a buddy of mine

    by rabidfnark

    the other day... About how he hated this new hand held camera/found footage genre that's come along (Blair Witch, Cloverfield, etc...). I told him that I've really enjoyed it... Visually, anyway (I think the stories have been a little lacking at times)) because with the way the camera constantly moves my attention is held with much less difficulty.

  • Sept. 14, 2010, 10:45 p.m. CST

    You know the problem isn't

    by D o o d

    with thought provoking films. I love them and will always pick them over something turgid like Transformers2. However, just because TF2 is horrid does not mean that any film by a respectable film maker is not also going to turn out horrid too.<P>The bottom line is that I work very hard for my money, so when I go to see a movie at the cinema, I don't care who directed it, or whether there's big budget effects in there. I just want to be entertained, quickly or slowly. I want to leave the theatre with some kind of love for what I saw. The New World stole hours of my life I'll never get back, so you could say I wasn't happy about that!

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 12:17 a.m. CST

    What the hell is this movie about?

    by MyScreenplayWasRejected

    And why does everyone automatically assume we should give a shit? Story, first and foremost, followed closely by characters; I don't care who the director is.

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 1:01 a.m. CST

    You speak the truth, D o o d.

    by rabidfnark

    We need more intelligent and thought provoking films (although, truth told, I did get a fleeting feral/visual joy out of TF2), but Yeah, bring on the Blade Runners, the Inceptions, the Departed's, the Requiems for a Dream, The Dark Knights, the Primers, and the (I hope, I hope, I hope) Black Swans. If it can motivate my mind, I'm there. I love movies that make me think and keep me guessing. They keep me in the game just as much as the purely visual ones. I think we're mostly on the same page here, D o o d (except for The New World, but we can agree to disagree on that. No problem). What we really want are more movies that hold our attention for the right reasons: more intrigue and intelligence (but an explosion or shoot out here and there won't hurt either...if they serve the story). Basically, we want to know that that outrageous price we paid for our ticket (that you mentioned earlier) was worth it... No matter who was involved with the films creation. I get it. I do. So, It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance, my friend, and now I'm off to get some sleep. Cheers!

  • Sept. 15, 2010, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Likewise rabidfnark!

    by D o o d