NewTreeOfLifePoster-CROP

Terrence Malick movies mean so much to so many different people. Films such as The Tree of Life are packed with interesting images and ideas; it’s almost impossible to come up with a singular reading, or one feeling to take away from the experience. Which is why he’s so beloved (and sometimes hated) by various audiences.

If you think watching Malick’s films is difficult, imagine trying to sell them. Even with stars such as Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, Fox Searchlight surely had some difficulty representing The Tree of Life. The poster they eventually settled on was gorgeous and evocative, and it was the result of lots of work. A company called Prologue did the work on the film and now 90 different concepts they came up with have arrived online.

They’re a great visual representation of the complexity of Malick’s work. Read More »

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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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Briefly: Here’s the award nomination for for those whose interest in film runs just a bit deeper than others. Today the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) announced its nominees for Best Cinematography of 2011. The nominees are: Guillaume Schiffman (The Artist), Jeff Cronenweth (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Robert Richardson (Hugo), Hoyte van Hoytema (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), and Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life).

One film not on the list, War Horse, shot by Janusz Kaminski, seems like an obvious snub. But Kaminski resigned from the ASC several years ago, so he wouldn’t have been nominated for any award by the group. Discuss among yourselves whether Jeff Cronenweth (who also shot The Social Network and Fight Club) would have nabbed the nomination had Kaminski been eligible.

The ASC will announce the winner of the award for best cinematography in 2011 on February 12, and that winner will very likely go on to win the Oscar for Best Cinematography as well.

The process of doling out Oscars is a lot more transparent in some than in others. While the core categories like Best Picture, and writing, directing and acting are all the subject of great speculation for months before the nominations are even announced, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is much more open about what specific films are in contention for some technical awards.

For instance, there is the Visual Effects Oscar, for which the Academy today announced that ten films are in the running. They include most of the options one might expect, from Hugo to Mission: Impossible to Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The full list is below. Read More »

Awards and top ten lists and all of that be damned: months after its release people are still talking about Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life, and with good reason. Dispute the effectiveness of the bookending Sean Penn sequences, sure, but the core of the movie is a powerful family story that works precisely because of Malick’s characteristic approach.

The film has that small, solid family center, but also has much bigger things at the fringes, and recently released storyboards clue us in to plans that would have put another layer of narrative into The Tree of Life. The boards show a sequence featuring Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel — a story that could have either provided more thematic weight for the film, or bogged it down with a too-obvious layer of allegory. Likely the latter, given that the scenes didn’t end up in the film, and may not have even been shot.

Regardless, check out the boards below. Read More »

Angie’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

I find it difficult to say whether 2011 was an unusually strong or unusually weak year for films. As in any year, there were pleasant surprises and disappointments alike. If I had to pinpoint the one thing my favorites tend to have in common, though, it’s a sense that each of them were made with great love by people who cared desperately about them.

I don’t think there’s anything anyone can say at the start of a top 10 list to totally deflect the disgruntled comments from readers who incensed to see that X made my top 10 when Y didn’t, etc., but I’m still going to throw out the usual caveats. There are certainly deserving films that were left off just because I forgot about them, or because I missed the theatrical run, or because I couldn’t fully appreciate them due to my own biases, or what have you. I also want to acknowledge that there is no fair way to compare, say, Bridesmaids against Tree of Life, but that by ranking these movies I’ve done so anyway.

Finally, and most importantly, I’d like to stress that this is not intended as an objective list of the ten best movies of the year, but as a totally subjective look back at my personal favorites of 2011. Read my list and leave your thoughts after the jump.

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We’ve posted the directors, actors, actresses, writers and now it’s time for the people who bring them all together. Every year during awards season, The Hollywood Reporter organizes the schedules of basically every single actor, actress, writer and director of the year’s best films to sit down and discuss them. This, in itself, is pretty spectacular. What’s even better is they release the videos of the full conversations so we can watch. For the 2011 Producers’ Roundtable, they’ve brought together Midnight in Paris producer Letty Aronson, Moneyball producer Michael De Luca, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy producer Tim Bevan, War Horse producer Kathleen Kennedy, The Tree of Life producer Bill Pohlad, The Descendants producer Jim Burke and The Help producer Chris Columbus to discuss their own, and each others’, films, all of which have a good shot at multiple award nominations. Check out the video after the jump. Read More »

We’re getting into the full swing of the awards season for 2011, and this evening four organizations announced their picks for best achievement in film in 2011. The biggest group is the American Film Institute, which released a simple unranked list of ten ‘movies of the year,’ which includes Bridesmaids, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo and The Tree of Life.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association named The Descendants as best picture of 2011, while the Boston Society of Film Critics named The Artist best film of the year, which was also voted as the top film by the New York Film Critics Online.

Lists from all four organizations are below. Read More »

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