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 Posted:   Aug 29, 2011 - 7:00 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I just returned from a press screening of this film here in Norway. Wow. I need some time to let it sink in before I comment on the film.

I'm thinking about doing a montages article on the use of music, but it's quite bewildering, as I only recognized a couple of the classical pieces. The challenge remains in finding out what the other pieces were, and where they were used, in addition to Desplat's score. Seems like I have the work cut out for me.

 
 Posted:   Aug 29, 2011 - 8:25 AM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

I just returned from a press screening of this film here in Norway. Wow. I need some time to let it sink in before I comment on the film.

I'm thinking about doing a montages article on the use of music, but it's quite bewildering, as I only recognized a couple of the classical pieces. The challenge remains in finding out what the other pieces were, and where they were used, in addition to Desplat's score. Seems like I have the work cut out for me.


Thor, check out this thread:

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=77724&forumID=1&archive=0

franz_conrad's post about 4/5 of the way down the first page will give you some help on identifying the classical pieces.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 29, 2011 - 8:28 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I just returned from a press screening of this film here in Norway. Wow. I need some time to let it sink in before I comment on the film.

I'm thinking about doing a montages article on the use of music, but it's quite bewildering, as I only recognized a couple of the classical pieces. The challenge remains in finding out what the other pieces were, and where they were used, in addition to Desplat's score. Seems like I have the work cut out for me.


Thor, check out this thread:

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=77724&forumID=1&archive=0

franz_conrad's post about 4/5 of the way down the first page will give you some help on identifying the classical pieces.


Yes, I'm aware of franz' post. The same thing is available on imdb. My main challenge is finding out which of those pieces were used where.

 
 Posted:   Dec 25, 2011 - 3:33 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

There is no bigger fan of Malick on this board than I am.
I picked THIN RED LiNE as the best film of the 90's and THE NEW WORLD one of the ten best films of the 2000's.

TREE OF LIFE may grown on me (as TRL did) but for now I have to pronounce it a failure.
The flaws and strengths of the film have been discussed with insight by others already.

I will just say that I was not drawn into the film. I felt removed from it and thus was oftentimes bored.
Even the musical choices were uninspired.

The years biggest disappointment
frownbruce

 
 Posted:   Dec 25, 2011 - 11:22 PM   
 By:   gone   (Member)

Yeah, I rented Tree of Life on blu-ray the first day it became avail... and it just didn't work for me. The Thin Red Line is a masterpiece in my estimation; as much or more a spiritual journey as a statement on war, and The New World is also exceptional as a unique view of colonialization and socialogical contrast.

I found it very easy to connect with the characters in both of those films, but felt like a remote dispassionate observer with TOF. This took me by surprise as I had anticipated a much different result. The only reason we didn't see the film in the theater was due to it being shown in only 1 or 2 places in Portland at the time. Just as well that I waited for redbox. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 18, 2012 - 12:58 AM   
 By:   JSWalsh   (Member)

It's interesting to see Neo's post above--his posts are always interesting--because he includes a pic from THE FOUNTAIN.

That is the only film other than TREE OF LIFE which really tried something that was thematically challenging.

These two films don't have phony or not-so-phony (but not exactly real) controversies, and they don't tell the audience what to think about what they are seeing. I think THE FOUNTAIN has one misstep in the scene where the hero is drinking the, uh, tree sap. Otherwise, it is an artistically-vivid and thoughtful movie that manages something that is very rare--it has completely confused a large portion of its viewers into even knowing what genre it belongs to. In the discussions I've read, the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that it's a science fiction movie, but it's no more a science fiction movie than is 8 1/2.

THE TREE OF LIFE is a masterpiece. I realize I am no more a director fan than I am an actor fan. I think since I've read more about the bullshit auteur theory I've come to realize that while there of course are powerful driving forces on every movie, the term auteur is so rare as to be endangered. So many individuals put parts of themselves into a work (yes, I know that's not what the auteur theory is about, but it shows how such contributions diffuse any clear view of the director's contribution) that only those writer/directors (who of course are not real auteurs either but...whatever) who create something unprecedented are, to me, the author (with many collaborators) of a film.

I like Malick's movies even when I think they are overrated or have slack stories, but TREE OF LIFE is his masterpiece, the work that demonstrate his mastery of the tools of cinema. That he uses one of the most skilled art directors around, one of the greatest cameramen, popular but also GOOD actors (I almost wept when I read Ben Affleck is going to be in his next movie--will I have to miss it entirely?), and great music selections bound together by an underscore that demonstrates the composer knew precisely what the movie needed, shows that Malick can bring his vision to the screen no matter how broad or individual his ideas.

I saw this months ago. I bet a day doesn't go by that I don't think about it.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 18, 2012 - 3:51 PM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)

All I can say is, I agree. (Even on the tree sap.) I think TREE is more secure than the FOUNTAIN - a bit more confident that the everyday life it depicts is enough to hang a film on. (FOUNTAIN presents three very melodramatic scenarios... I only really like the scenes in the bubble.)

 
 Posted:   Feb 18, 2012 - 4:54 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)







This film continues to haunt me too. I'm delighted that it and Malick got Oscar nominations. I'm also continually amused by seeing the above photo used everywhere. I know that Malick is publicity shy, but is this the ONLY pic of him? big grin

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2013 - 3:56 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

Saw the film yesterday. It was like a weird mix between Stanley Kubrick and Lars Von Trier.

Fascinating, but not totally successful.

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2013 - 9:13 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

I could only take The New World on a single viewing. The remote semi-automatic 'visual poetic' camera mode both films were left in as they were being filmed made me feel drowsy, almost as if I'd been watching underwater. The self-reflective attitude merely felt like smoke in the eyes and ultimately the half-hypnotic method of presentation left me almost staring blankly at the movie. Like my eyes were focusing beyond the screen from the sleep-inducing direction. It's a brave approach to making films, however, my favourite bit was the giant asteroid impact which wipes out the dinosaurs. There was an entire sequence left out of this film, IMO. That should have been the moon hitting the earth eons ago, giving it's distinctive angle of tilt to the plane of the ecliptic and affecting the development of all life on earth thereafter by giving the planet it's seasons. If you want to chart every earth-centred milestone on the way to us, that is a historic planetwide event that ranks highly in the whys and wherefores of what we are doing here and now.

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2013 - 10:59 AM   
 By:   gone   (Member)

Interesting... The Fountain is one of my favorite films of all time, from beginning to end. It is fascinating to see how some films connect with certain people and others do not. It's good that there is a mix of various approaches.

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2013 - 12:13 PM   
 By:   The REAL BJBien   (Member)

the film does TRY and is in fact some DIFFERENT and clearly touches on themes of great beauty... but there are times where it almost feels TOO CONFIDANT and the whispering really started to go from annoying to humorous really only saved by the amazing camera work and music.

basically, there is a movie in there with Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, and Jessica Chastain mix in with whispering dubbed over scenes from PLANET EARTH.

still i give it a 7/10 for being refreshing, frustrating, and diffident.

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2013 - 1:54 PM   
 By:   Ralph   (Member)

The high critical response to Malick’s “The Tree of Life” has a direct relationship to 2011’s re-infantilization of movies. If “Tree” isn’t about buffed up comic book heroes or effete vampires or another outbreak of chickflickitis, then it’s got to be profound “cinema.” And there is something reassuring about Malick taking his sweet time to get Brad Pitt and Sean Penn to do what he wants, even if the audience isn’t too sure what the heck that is. Movies about the connective meanings of our existence are criticized as pretentious and polarizing because they usually are and the extra burden here is that the quasi spiritual encounters are of the Quaaludian kind. Technically the movie seems applaudably Spic & Span — we’d be safe in eating off the plates that are Emmanuel Lubezki’s celluloid images — but as the “cinema” photography advances we’re feeling more and more groggy and nonplussed when getting caught up in a memory machine, recalling similar pictorial successions in “The Bible...in the beginning,” “2001,” a few “Star Trek” things and any number of Hubble slide shows off the Internet. Reeking with prestige as a journey from the big bang to the discovery of the processes that give us universal linkage, “The Tree of Life” sheds not the leaves of spiritual, mental and emotional contemplation but those of spectral emanations. Is there anyone in this movie with a pulse?

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2013 - 5:31 PM   
 By:   gone   (Member)

It has been awhile since I saw TOF, but these were my biggest impressions and complaints with it. They are based on the best of my recollections for a film I had greatly anticipated but was deeply disappointed in.

* the whispering : while this approach felt very fresh, relevant, meaningful, and integrated in The Thin Red Line and almost as much so in The New World... with TTOF I immediately felt that we had already "been there done that" and "emptied the well" in those previous movies. In many cases directors are trying to explore new territory in their approach and subject matter, yet here we were again listening to the whispering subconscious. note : Reviews of To The Wonder make me wonder whether Malick has gone down the same road yet again.

* the story line : TTRL and TNW both had a coherent story to convey. We were going from one place to another. In TTRL we travel from the transport ship to the hilltop and back, exploring the character's inner fears, dreams, and motivations along the way. TNW has a similar coherence. TTOL however is so limited in its theme that it seems generally confined to the confusion and unhappiness of a boy, and not a particularly sympathetic character at that. These types of movies (turbulent youth) have been done much more successfully before; albeit with stronger story lines and more compelling characters.

* the angst : I was raised in a highly dysfunctional family environment (much worse than what is shown here). But even in that world there was plenty of time for kids laughing and playing in a light hearted manner, as opposed to the continual angst ridden youth portrayed in TTOL. I really could not fully connect the cause and effect relationship between the father and his son's slide into what seemed to be continual depression and destructive behavior.

* the mother : the sequences I remember of the mother twirling around reminded me of late 60's Woodstock hippie kitsch... and I'm a big fan of that time period, just not woven into a middle class Midwestern lifestyle where I assume drugs were not in play.

 
 Posted:   May 13, 2013 - 6:02 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Gone be a smart boY
smile

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 1:31 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Did Malick edit this film for dvd?
All the reviews i read said the "Creation" sequence OPENS the film.
On dvd it takes awhile before it begins

tyhanks!
bruce

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 1:37 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

There is no bigger fan of Malick on this board than I am.
I picked THIN RED LiNE as the best film of the 90's and THE NEW WORLD one of the ten best films of the 2000's.

TREE OF LIFE may grown on me (as TRL did) but for now I have to pronounce it a failure.
The flaws and strengths of the film have been discussed with insight by others already.

I will just say that I was not drawn into the film. I felt removed from it and thus was oftentimes bored.
Even the musical choices were uninspired.

The years biggest disappointment
frownbruce


Just watched it again.
I liked it better the second time as I was now better able to understand the elliptical narrative.
The opening sequences continue to amaze in their wonderful evocation of childhood and motherhood.

Still, i wish Malick would go back and re-edit this:
- either gives us more of Sean Penn or cut him out the film completely. There is just enuf to tantalize but too little to fit into the rest of the film. Just cut him out! smile
- more about the death of the brother (presumably KIA in Vietnam)
- put the creation sequence at the END of the film and shorten it just a wee bit. (It would be
like Kubrick's "star gate' sequence) Take out the beach party>


check it out!
bruce

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 2:28 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

To JSWalsh about "The Fountain: Re: "That is the only film other than TREE OF LIFE which really tried something that was thematically challenging."

First, I loved "The Fountain," although it can sometimes be a challenge to sit through all of it without getting distracted, and I bought from iTunes selected tracks of Mansell's soundtrack as well as the Blu-ray of the movie. But I don't put "The Tree Of Life" in its league at all -- "The Fountain" is far far better.

Elsewhere someone just posted something about the use of a Zbigniew Preisner classical piece with soprano (in "Tree"), and I had something to say about that too, since I felt strongly that Mallick had made a poor choice in music for that scene. Yes, the music was to a certain degree ethereal, but not nearly as beautiful and haunting as pieces he could have chosen.

And I'm getting weary from jumping from category to category, with this one under Non-Soundtrack Discussions and the other under General Discussions. Wish these 2 posts had been combined.

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 3:39 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

I doubt that there will be any film released during the next six months that will topple THE TREE OF LIFE as my best of 2011. I responded to this movie very deeply. It's Malick's best so far - an elliptical, poetic meditation which aligns the life of an ordinary man's growing up with the life of the cosmos themselves. It's rare to see such a bold statement about spirituality and mysticism in a mainstream or, for that matter, in any film.

Two years later my opinion of this film remains solid. It certainly has to be one of the ten greatest of all time, and as with other great films (Tarkovsky comes to mind) one has to be spiritually tuned in to its beauty, grace and artistry. I think it's beyond the comprehension of average movie-goers who view film as just one element in a night of fast food and cheap music.

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2013 - 7:49 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

To Mark R.Y.

Re: "Two years later my opinion of this film remains solid. It certainly has to be one of the ten greatest of all time, and as with other great films (Tarkovsky comes to mind) one has to be spiritually tuned in to its beauty, grace and artistry. I think it's beyond the comprehension of average movie-goers who view film as just one element in a night of fast food and cheap music."

I must take exception to that, because you've written that those who don't like "Tree of Life" must not "be spiritually tuned in to its beauty, grace and artistry" and that you "think it's beyond the comprehension of average movie-goers who view film as just one element in a night of fast food and cheap music." Please! I've fallen in love with many films that the masses consider too slow, too intellectual, too "artsy/fartsy," too you-name-it. But watching that movie was utter boredom for me and I came away from it sure that it was one of the most foolish movies I had ever seen. And I think you'll find that there are a lot of highbrow cineastes out there who also thought it was pretentious and poorly conceived. Someone compared it to "The Fountain," but it isn't even in the same league. Yes, it's certainly a polarizing film, and people seem to either love it or hate it. I hated it, and my nights have little to do with fast food or cheap music!

 
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