Tree of Life

Terrence Malick is notorious for deleting subplots and even entire characters during the editing process, but for a director’s cut of The Tree of Life he’s going to put some of that extra footage back in. Malick’s longtime editor Billy Weber recently revealed that the filmmaker is working on a new edit that’ll include some scenes that wound up on the cutting room floor.

But that’s not the only thing Malick has on his plate right now. In addition to Knight of Cups and another, untitled feature, Malick’s also been putting the finishing touches on his documentary Voyage of Time, and Weber says we could see that film as soon as next year. Hit the jump to get the details.

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In the twenty years between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, Terrence Malick was elevated from director who salvaged Days of Heaven only after years of editing, to cinematic messiah. His aesthetic approach was canonized, and actors flocked to work with him, no matter how small the part. Now, with two movies in less than two years (and at least two more on the way) Malick is being brought down to Earth once more. This is a good thing. Once again, he’s just a guy who makes movies. Fortunately, he makes movies in a way that is unlike most others, and thanks to his improvisational process he still carries the trust of talented actors.

I’d very much like to love his latest film, To the Wonder. I do appreciate it quite a lot, which is something different. As if designed to be a miniature of his career, this movie describes a tension between the glorious and prosaic. It is not a conventional narrative, but rather a look over Malick’s shoulder as he feels his way towards an idea.

That idea is a portrait of our relationship to the divine, as expressed through four interconnected lives that sketch a difficult romantic relationship. Whether that “divine” is God or nature, or some ineffable truth, doesn’t really matter. Malick seeks to balance the first brush with wonder and the difficult process of sustaining it though the grind of everyday life. Read More »

‘To the Wonder’ Trailer: What Is Love?

“Prolific” isn’t a word you would’ve associated with Terrence Malick for the first forty years of his career, which yielded just five films. But it’s coming to define the next stage of it. Since 2011’s Tree of Life he’s been on a roll, with some four films due out in the next few years.

The first of those will be To the Wonder, which hits next month. The dreamy romantic drama stars Ben Affleck as Neil, a man caught between two loves: the French Marina (Olga Kurylenko), who moves with him to Oklahoma, and the all-American Jane (Rachel McAdams), who was his childhood sweetheart. Javier Bardem also stars, a priest suffering a crisis of faith. Hit the jump to check out the latest trailer.

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Terrence Malick has traditionally been one of the most reclusive American filmmakers. He does few interviews, and makes his films shrouded in as much secrecy as possible. But it’s very difficult to make a movie in a vacuum of late, and so we see occasional behind the scenes glimpses.

For To the Wonder, his most recent film, we’ve now got behind the scenes footage released through official channels ahead of the film’s opening. Here the actors, (Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams, and Javier Bardem) discuss how there was really no script, and that their characters were shaped by Malick describing them, and that there was essentially a syllabus that included novels and philosophy.

There’s a lot here about shooting on location and the way the director likes to use light. One thing is noticeably absent in this footage, however: Terrence Malick. If you’re hoping for interviews with the still-reclusive director, forget about it. Still, this long featurette is worth a look. Read More »

Superheroes aren’t the only ones showing off their goods today. A batch of new photos have dropped for a trio of highly anticipated releases that don’t involve flowing capes or secret powers (at least, that we know of): Ti West‘s The Sacrament, Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Inside Llewyn Davis, and Terrence Malick‘s To the Wonder. Check them out after the jump.

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It took Terrence Malick three decades to release his first four features, but since 2011’s Tree of Life he’s been on a roll. He has four more films due out in the next few years, the first of which will be April’s To the Wonder.

We’ve already seen a couple of images from the film, but our best look yet comes in the form of this new trailer. It’s pretty much what you’d expect: a voiceover ruminating on love, meaningful shots of nature and lots of graceful frolicking. Olga KurylenkoBen AffleckRachel McAdams, and Javier Bardem star. Watch the video after the jump.

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As 2012 comes to an end, it’s time to look ahead to the cool stuff in store for 2013. A few new release dates have just been announced, promising a new year just as exciting on the cinematic front as the old one was. Hit the jump to read more about scheduling for George Clooney‘s The Monuments Men, Terence Malick‘s To the Wonder, and more.

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Briefly: This is audience-shot video (by me) from a few rows back during the Black Lips set at the 2012 Austin City Limits festival. As the set kicked off, I could see Ryan Gosling off to the left side of the stage, behind the stacks. Then a small camera crew walked out, following Rooney Mara wearing a guitar. For one song — I don’t know the name of the tune — Mara mimed playing with the Black Lips as Terrence Malick watched nearby and the camera caught her work.

Will this stuff end up in Malick’s new film? Probably not, in all likelihood, so consider this a little addition to the internet-sourced DVD extras for that movie. Two videos follow, and because they’re shot on my phone from the audience they’re not the best. Malick is briefly visible in the second — he’s the guy in the big-brimmed hat behind the stacks on the left.

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Terrence Malick‘s movies often aren’t about who is cast, but who makes the final cut. That’s nothing new for the director, but with him out shooting more film more often, and doing so in easy range of photographers, we’re getting to see more of his process than ever.

The latest set pics from Malick’s new film (formerly called Lawless, and currently untitled) feature Natalie Portman, blonde and looking every inch the Texas bar girl. There are shots of her with newly revealed co-stars Michael Fassbender and Holly Hunter, too. Will any of this stuff be in the final film? Your guess is as good as ours. Read More »