Well, it’s out in the open now. Terrence Malick‘s new film The Tree of Life, many years in the making and the subject of massive speculation and anticipation over the past two years, has premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, and the reaction is mixed. I’ve been generally avoiding reviews in anticipation of my own screening tomorrow afternoon (and Peter is seeing it right now, which may lead to a review this evening) but figured we should pass along some of the first reactions. They range from ‘brilliant’ to ‘pretentious’ — in other words, the first responses to The Tree of Life are the responses to Terrence Malick’s entire career, cast in miniature.
One of the first things that we heard, via Twitter, was that the debut screening — for which the line was reportedly quite impressive, rendering the wait to get in nearly as long as the film itself — ended with a smattering of boos. But this is Cannes. People boo. It happens a lot. In this case, we’re talking about only the fifth film in the 40-year career of a director that is one of cinema’s most analyzed creators. Expectations for The Tree of Life were particularly high, and so some specifically vehement reactions were to be expected from those who found it lacking.
After the break we’ve got a brief round-up of some reactions. This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive report, but rather a snapshot of the first takes. Read More »
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The working team of director Pedro Almodovar and actor Antonio Banderas was once potent, and while Mr. Almodovar has continued to make excellent films since their last pairing (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! in 1990), Antonio Banderas has been slowly defanged over many years. So their reunion was reason enough to celebrate. The fact that their first film together in 20 years, The Skin I Live In, is a very messed-up sounding story about a surgeon and his… unusual… relationships with women make it even more tantalizing.
The film premieres very soon in Cannes and has a November release date planned via Sony Pictures Classics in the US. Now there is a wildly creepy teaser, which you can see after the break. This one is either going to significantly increase your interest in seeing the film, or help that interest dissipate altogether. Read More »
Takashi Miike is best known for his hyper-explicit button-pushing films like Ichi the Killer, Audition and Visitor Q, but he has dabbled in just about every possible film genre. Lately he’s been in ‘stately samurai’ mode. His film 13 Assassins has been available on iTunes for a few weeks and opens in some theaters today. (And is very, very good.)
His next, Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai is a 3D film, and will premiere at Cannes in just a couple weeks. The teaser trailer for that one is out now, and it looks just as good as 13 Assassins, if in a slightly different way. Read More »
With this poster, the Julia Leigh film Sleeping Beauty continues to look like the arthouse alternate-reality Sucker Punch. Emily Browning stars in the movie as a student who becomes a prostitute specializing in an unusual service: she ‘works’ while drugged into slumber, and cannot remember her clients after they take advantage of her. The poster is a little bit American Apparel, a little bit Sofia Coppola, and quite pretty, but combined with the known plot and the look on Emily Browning’s face, there’s an uncomfortable undercurrent there, too. The trailer (embedded again below) is equally gorgeous and unsettling. Both are after the break. Read More »
One of the films officially announced as part of the competition slate for this year’s Cannes Film Festival is Sleeping Beauty, which tells the story of a prostitute in a very strange brothel. There is now a gorgeous, if oppressive and strange, trailer for the film that, thanks in part to the central presence of Emily Browning, makes it look a bit like Sucker Punch filtered through an extreme art-house sensibility. Read More »
The nearly-full slate for the competitive schedules at this year’s Cannes Film Festival has been announced, and while it isn’t packed with many surprises, there is some great stuff premiering in France this May. We basically knew that Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life, Pedro Almodovar‘s The Skin That I Live In, Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia, and Lynne Ramsay‘s We Need to Talk About Kevin would all be on the Croisette, so seeing those in the competition slate isn’t a surprise. But it’s nice to see Nicholas Winding Refn‘s Drive in there (FilmDistrict, give us a trailer, please!) along with Julia Leigh‘s Sleeping Beauty, Takashi Miike‘s remake of Harakiri (his 13 Assassins is also in some theaters, On Demand and on iTunes now, and is the best thing he’s made in a while) and even Le Havre by Aki Kaurismaki.
In the Un Certain Regard category — a slate that highlights “original and different” films, with Emir Kusturica heading the jury this year — you’ll find Gus Van Sant‘s Restless, Sundance fave Martha Marcy May Marlene by Sean Durkin, Erik Khoo‘s Tatsumi, and plenty more.
Out of competition premieres include Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Kung-Fu Panda 2. There could be more selections announced for that particular slate in the coming weeks. Read more info and get the full list of films as it stands now, after the break. Read More »
Fans who are anticipating The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick‘s first film since 2005′s The New World, have a beautiful new image to dissect to their heart’s content. The Internet Movie Database has premiered a stunning new mosaic theatrical poster for the Fox Searchlight release and, much like the first trailer, it’s full of gorgeous and mysterious images including planets, fires and, yes, a dinosaur.
Set for release in the United States on May 27, Malick’s film – starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain – was thought to have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. However, Empire is now reporting that it’ll premiere in the United Kingdom May 4, a full week before before the world’s most prestegious film festival even begins. Read more about that and see the full poster after the break. Read More »
Years of speculation about The Tree of Life, the latest film from reclusive and very slow-working master director Terrence Malick, will finally end in May. We had a very good idea that the film would play the festival, given that Fox Searchlight set a May 27 release date after picking up the film a few months ago. Variety reports that the film will appear at the fest, but says that we likely won’t know if it will play in or out of competition until early or mid April, when the full lineup is announced.
The film is a multi-generational drama starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain that, to some extent, looks at our place in the world and the universe at large. There have been a great many hints about the film suggesting that it covers a timeframe much more broad than a couple of mere human lifetimes — think aeons. Information about the film’s scientific background and the possible presence of dinosaurs has been largely scrubbed from the internet wherever possible. That fact, combined with the lush, very appealing trailer and the simple fact that this is a new Terrence Malick movie, make The Tree of Life one of the highest-profile film debuts of 2011. Hit the jump to see the trailer if you haven’t yet caught it. Read More »
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