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Criterion to release new cut of Malick's Tree of Life (1 Viewer)

Winston T. Boogie

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Dick

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I sorta like this movie. I look at it as being the real break between the more accessible Malick films with actual (if esoteric) plots, and the later "tone poem" things that have zero real dramatic or emotional thrust. They just look real nice. He had me at DAYS OF HEAVEN, but he almost lost me with TO THE WONDER and KNIGHT OF CUPS, and I'm still not sure I want to bother with SONG TO SONG. Adding 50 minutes to this hybrid that I consider TREE OF LIFE to be might not help it, but maybe do the opposite, for I can't imagine the added material will help to define the story line (such as it is), rather than just padding it out with more of the "mood" thing. I'll keep an open mind, and will purchase this when available.
 

Winston T. Boogie

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I sorta like this movie. I look at it as being the real break between the more accessible Malick films with actual (if esoteric) plots, and the later "tone poem" things that have zero real dramatic or emotional thrust. They just look real nice. He had me at DAYS OF HEAVEN, but he almost lost me with TO THE WONDER and KNIGHT OF CUPS, and I'm still not sure I want to bother with SONG TO SONG. Adding 50 minutes to this hybrid that I consider TREE OF LIFE to be might not help it, but maybe do the opposite, for I can't imagine the added material will help to define the story line (such as it is), rather than just padding it out with more of the "mood" thing. I'll keep an open mind, and will purchase this when available.

The good is it comes with the theatrical cut as well...which noted in the article REMAINS the director's cut of the film. This new longer cut is...well...just that, a longer cut. My guess is only fans of the film need to indulge in this as plenty of people I think find anything Malick complete tedium.

I am a Malick fan but I agree with you, Rick, his last three films seem like little more than exorcises in tone.
 
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MatthewA

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I still remember when Christopher Plummer said he will never work with Malick again after he spent all that time memorizing a speech for The New World that ended up on the cutting room floor, apparently at the director's hands.
 

Mark VH

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Incredible news. Malick is probably my favorite living filmmaker, and this is in the running for his best film. Would be great if they could also include and/or release both versions of Voyage of Time as well. Either way, cannot wait for this.
 

Dick

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I have only met two Hollywood film directors in all my 68 years. One was Arthur Lubin, who actually indulged me by watching and critiquing one of my super 8mm films in 1971. The other was Mr. Malick, with whom I shook hands but unfortunately was unable to spend any time, when he was given the "Midlife Achievement Award" at the Waterville, Maine Railroad Square Cinema. I was at the time able to see DAYS OF HEAVEN for the second time as a 35mm projected film, and was mesmerized all over again. None of his subsequent films have held the same magic for me, and I am afraid he has become rather self-indulgent and pretentious. As Donald Trump would say, "Sad."
 

Winston T. Boogie

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Why is it necessary to bring politics into this decidedly unpolitical thread?

I think he was just making a joke, not getting political. Not for me to decide but I always think bringing politics into something involves actually expressing some sort of political viewpoint that may possibly trigger a person to post an opposing viewpoint...but I'm probably the last guy to ask about that. I mean just mentioning somebody's name and a goofy remark they often make is not really political is it? What would the opposing political viewpoint to "sad" be? Not sad? Happy? :)
 

Winston T. Boogie

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I have only met two Hollywood film directors in all my 68 years. One was Arthur Lubin, who actually indulged me by watching and critiquing one of my super 8mm films in 1971. The other was Mr. Malick, with whom I shook hands but unfortunately was unable to spend any time, when he was given the "Midlife Achievement Award" at the Waterville, Maine Railroad Square Cinema. I was at the time able to see DAYS OF HEAVEN for the second time as a 35mm projected film, and was mesmerized all over again. None of his subsequent films have held the same magic for me, and I am afraid he has become rather self-indulgent and pretentious. As Donald Trump would say, "Sad."

I'm a fan of the guy and I'm happy he took another shot at making interesting pictures. He obviously is totally out of step with what passes for the kind of stuff that plays at your local megaplex but I think there is room for what he does. I think the fact that he has shifted to this sort of moody tone poem/perfume commercial approach for several films has been...well...disappointing to me as well. I love his first four films. I found Tree of Life a really interesting experiment. To the Wonder was OK, and I might think of it in a more positive light if he had not basically returned to this approach for his next two pictures. Pretty sure that Knight of Cups and Song to Song were crafted from the same shoot.

The images he captures tend to be quite beautiful to stunning. The voice overs and vacant staring that passes for acting becomes, after three straight films of it, sort of comical. I know he is attempting to capture mood and communicate philosophical outlooks on life but I'm not sure he hits the mark all the time.

I'm hoping he tries a different approach with Radegund because I think that film has some serious potential.
 

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Terrence Malick has always divided my friends - some of them truly hate all his movies. I found the extended cut included on Criterion's The New World mesmerising. The Tree Of Life was the last Terrence Malick I enjoyed (I couldn't stand the last three) and I feel it has a rightful place in the Criterion Collection. Alexandre Desplat's tremendous soundtrack also equals Ennio Morricone's Day Of Heaven score.
 
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Mark VH

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I'm a fan of the guy and I'm happy he took another shot at making interesting pictures. He obviously is totally out of step with what passes for the kind of stuff that plays at your local megaplex but I think there is room for what he does. I think the fact that he has shifted to this sort of moody tone poem/perfume commercial approach for several films has been...well...disappointing to me as well. I love his first four films. I found Tree of Life a really interesting experiment. To the Wonder was OK, and I might think of it in a more positive light if he had not basically returned to this approach for his next two pictures. Pretty sure that Knight of Cups and Song to Song were crafted from the same shoot.

The consensus among most viewers (and indeed most cinephiles) seems to be that Malick has "lost it" with his recent outings and gone in for self-indulgent, perfume commercial navel-gazing, but I don't agree with this - or at least I don't think it's a bad thing. I find his most recent work to be among the best and most interesting cinema Malick has created, and I'm so grateful that he continues to make exactly the films he wants to make regardless of demand for more straightforward storytelling. For one thing, these are intensely autobiographical films as well as - and this is a point a lot of critics seem to miss - they're also intensely religious ones as Malick wrestles with both his enchantment and disillusionment with modernity. Even Song to Song, which most critics seemed to loathe and even most Malick fans seem to view as a lesser work, to me was a more effective meditation on Eros than the more effusively praised Call Me By Your Name (though I like the latter film quite a bit). And while I'm looking forward to Radegund (obviously) I'm somewhat disappointed that it's his first film since The Thin Red Line without Lubetzki, as I genuinely believe the work they've done together is as good and important as any director-cinematographer partnership in cinema.

All of this is a really high-falutin' way of saying that, yeah, they're not for everybody, but I find Malick's movies - and especially his more recent ones - incredibly moving. Malick sees the world the way I wish I saw it, and uses cinema to capture this way of seeing better than any other filmmaker. He's our great transcendentalist, and I think over time people are going to return to his more recent movies as not only an essential section of his filmography, but perhaps the most important section for understanding the man himself.
 

Vincent_P

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Regarding RADEGUND, it's being touted as a return to a more narrative approach to cinematic storytelling for Malick, which makes sense seeing as how it's based on a true story (Malick has said as much himself, and also that he thinks he might have gone too far with the scriptless improvisational approach to the last three). The new cinematographer, Jorg Widmer, was also the steadicam operator on all of Malick's films shot by Lubeski, so I'm sure we won't be losing much if anything in terms of visual beauty.

Vincent
 

Winston T. Boogie

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The consensus among most viewers (and indeed most cinephiles) seems to be that Malick has "lost it" with his recent outings and gone in for self-indulgent, perfume commercial navel-gazing, but I don't agree with this - or at least I don't think it's a bad thing. I find his most recent work to be among the best and most interesting cinema Malick has created, and I'm so grateful that he continues to make exactly the films he wants to make regardless of demand for more straightforward storytelling.

I don't think Malick has lost it and I think you are correct his films since he came back after 20 years away seem to be more personal projects. I think this is good in terms of the idea that I would rather see films made by filmmakers that they are really interested in making more than "products" designed to sell to as massive an audience as possible.

His last three films don't strike me as his "best" work. Honestly, I still find Days of Heaven his "best" film but I thought The Thin Red Line was a stunning comeback after 20 years away. I don't think the cycle of films from To the Wonder through Song to Song are bad but it just seems to me that he is experimenting. It was as if during the making of Tree of Life he got this idea and then spent three films chasing it. However, I thought each film brought less and less to the table. Also, while it is great that many big name actors wanted to be in his films he seems not particularly interested in acting. So, a guy like Plummer noticing that while he is delivering a speech he felt was important rather than pointing the camera at him while he is speaking Malick has the camera pointed up at a tree...well...that's not the best utilization of your actors.

On the last three films he seems concerned more with editing, finding the film in the cutting room, and exploring creating tone and mood...not through his actors...but through the images, sounds, and how he cuts them together. I certainly agree that this won't be for everyone and I also feel that it often, at least to me, diminishes the emotional impact of the filmmaking.

I sort of sit there thinking "that's beautiful" or "that's hypnotic" but not feeling much of anything except maybe an appreciation of the technique. I mean I kind of laughed at the way he used Ben Affleck in To the Wonder as he was mainly a mannequin...just another object placed in the frame...and some people feel that is about all Ben is as an actor.

I can honestly say the last film where I felt something for his characters was The New World. In the more recent films I just sort of feel "Well, that was pretty." but I'm not getting any emotional impact.

I think we all experience films different ways so I just think something just does not click for me with the later films. There just seems to be no door for me to step through to feel for his characters. They seem posed in the frame but only to create beauty in relation to what else is in the frame. That's great in terms of technique but it wore me out over three pictures.
 
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Stephen_J_H

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I gained greater appreciation for Badlands on my Criterion rewatch, and Days of Heaven holds a special place in my heart because it was shot a few miles from where I grew up. I'll admit to not having seen much beyond that, but this release has me intrigued.
 

JohnRice

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Well, I dove in to give this one a try. I found the original version kind of strangely fascinating.
 
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Peter Neski

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The consensus among most viewers (and indeed most cinephiles) seems to be that Malick has "lost it" with his recent outings and gone in for self-indulgent, perfume commercial navel-gazing, but I don't agree with this - or at least I don't think it's a bad thing. I find his most recent work to be among the best and most interesting cinema Malick has created, and I'm so grateful that he continues to make exactly the films he wants to make regardless of demand for more straightforward storytelling. For one thing, these are intensely autobiographical films as well as - and this is a point a lot of critics seem to miss - they're also intensely religious ones as Malick wrestles with both his enchantment and disillusionment with modernity. Even Song to Song, which most critics seemed to loathe and even most Malick fans seem to view as a lesser work, to me was a more effective meditation on Eros than the more effusively praised Call Me By Your Name (though I like the latter film quite a bit). And while I'm looking forward to Radegund (obviously) I'm somewhat disappointed that it's his first film since The Thin Red Line without Lubetzki, as I genuinely believe the work they've done together is as good and important as any director-cinematographer partnership in cinema.

All of this is a really high-falutin' way of saying that, yeah, they're not for everybody, but I find Malick's movies - and especially his more recent ones - incredibly moving. Malick sees the world the way I wish I saw it, and uses cinema to capture this way of seeing better than any other filmmaker. He's our great transcendentalist, and I think over time people are going to return to his more recent movies as not only an essential section of his filmography, but perhaps the most important section for understanding the man himself.
I don't think "perfume commercial" is right at all, who ever said that is not worth bothering with,But I don't agree that these
latter films are "among his Best" in what way? He only had two pictures in his first batch, They are two of the greatest films to my taste
His later work is still good ,but just like "Eyes wide shut" I don't think its close to those first two

This new Transfer is just as great ,as transfer can get ,Maybe if we are lucky we wil get a new Knights ,the BR transfer is so so
 

PMF

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And yet, if Malick's so-called lesser works had been the works that he began with, then all of us would be touting him as the new discovery and voice.
No artist, be it author, composer, painter or filmmaker, can produce masterpiece after masterpiece.
Too many expectations, too many comparisons, too many demands.
Taken on their own terms, his isolated latter works are still far greater than most could hope to achieve.
Poetry; both in the narrative and the visual; exploration, the philosophical and the spiritual.
I'll gladly take each and every one of Mr. Malick's works as they come.
 

Winston T. Boogie

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I always love how direct Mr. Friedkin is:



And keep in mind here I am a fan of Mr. Malick.

I think Malick should come out of hiding to make a youtube video discussing Mr. Friedkin's "tree" picture The Guardian.

 

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