As I am desperate for any and all news Terrence Malick I was surprised to find out that the folks at Collider actually got some information in regards to Tree of Life over at the American Film Market going on right now on the west coast. Apparently they found this poster and synopsis,
"From the Desk of Terrence Malick….
We trace the evolution of an eleven-year-old boy in the Midwest, JACK, one of three brothers. At first all seems marvelous to the child. He sees as his mother does with the eyes of his soul. She represents the way of love and mercy, where the father tries to teach his son the world’s way of putting oneself first. Each parent contends for his allegiance, and Jack must reconcile their claims. The picture darkens as he has his first glimpses of sickness, suffering and death. The world, once a thing of glory, becomes a labyrinth.
From this story is that of adult Jack, a lost soul in a modern world, seeking to discover amid the changing scenes of time that which does not change: the eternal scheme of which we are a part. When he sees all that has gone into our world’s preparation, each thing appears a miracle—precious, incomparable. Jack, with his new understanding, is able to forgive his father and take his first steps on the path of life.
The story ends in hope, acknowledging the beauty and joy in all things, in the everyday and above all in the family—our first school—the only place that most of us learn the truth about the world and ourselves, or discover life’s single most important lesson, of unselfish love."
Ok a bit of a spaced out poster and description of the film but hey this is what Malick does best and better than anyone. He is a philosophical filmmaker who writes poetry via the moving image. His films are masterful and timeless and sub par poster or not I have no doubts Tree of Life won't deliver.
I tend to enjoy round table discussions more so than I do straight up Q and A's after films. Actors and actresses seem a little more comfortable and willing to answer personal questions when they are among one another. There are also of course more interesting questions being asked during these get togethers. To kick off the season the Hollywood Reporter gathered Natalie Portman, Helena Bonham Carter, Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Hilary Swank and Amy Adams. I have to say my admiration for Hilary has skyrocketed this season between her performance in Conviction and her attitude towards film that is displayed during this discussion. It's worth a look.
There is news today on the two biggest franchises in film at the moment. In regards to Avatar it has been reported that Cameron's next two films will indeed be Avatar 2 and 3 and he will shoot them back to back. Expected release dates for the films are December 2014 and 2015 respectively. You know a franchise is huge when news of a film four years away gets reported in every blog and trade paper.
The Gotham Nominees have been announced. The IFP awards the best in American independent cinema. There is usually at least some carry over from these nominations to the major awards. The best features are as follows with the rest after the jump. The biggest surprise is surely Let Me In which seems to be one of the most divisive films of the season. As I blogged a week or so again I was not much of a fan. The biggest boost of the day went to Winter's Bone.
“The Kids Are All Right”
“Let Me In”
Empire has revealed four original and exquisite posters for Aronofsky's upcoming film Black Swan. The web site says they are,
"as beautiful as Natalie Portman and as downright sexy as Mila Kunis - while being as strange and disturbing as Vincent Cassel and as original as director Darren Aronofsky. You're welcome, world."
Looking at them I can't really disagree. I believe it is the mark of a quality director that all aspects of the film and its promotion are given that extra energy. I have said it before but you won't see lazy trailers or posters made for movies by auteurs like Aronofsky, the Coens, Fincher or Paul Thomas Anderson. Here is one fine example with the rest after the cut.
According to Deadline Hollywood Daily, Zack Snyder has been chosen to direct the Christopher Nolan produced Superman reboot for Warner Brothers. He was chosen out of a lot that included Matt Reeves, Duncan Jones, Tony Scott and Jonathan Liebsman. So we know right off the bat this isn't going to have the thematic depth and focus on narrative that the Batman films have. It won't have the same realistic and effective action either. It will be a stylish, special effects extravaganza. The fan boys will probably eat it up but it won't be a film that brings both them and the critics together in the vein of Christopher Nolan.
Ok so it's not the end of the world....but it's pretty close. The Playlist has reported via Total Film that Paul Thomas Anderson's religious drama has been delayed indefinitely. The film currently untitled but listed as The Master on IMDB had Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeremy Renner and Reese Witherspoon attached. Per Total Film's discussion with Jeremy Renner,
"I was really bummed about that," Renner revealed. "It really kind of stalled because when we were rehearsing — Phil, Paul and myself — we kept coming up against a wall that we couldn't overcome. Or at least Paul couldn't overcome."
I wonder what wall talented trio such as that could not overcome? Paul Thomas Anderson has dealt with stressful issues before like having to replace the supporting actor in There Will Be Blood a few weeks into shooting and luckily he struck gold (or oil) with Paul Dano. "The Master" would have easily been the second film on my list for 2011 behind The Tree of Life so this is very disappointing news. Here is to hoping the three of them can get it working.
It was being reported in recent days that Bill Pohlad of Apparition had been screening and shopping Malick's highly anticipated film and it appears he has found a buyer.
Per the article,
"Fox Searchlight has acquired the Terrence Malick-directed The Tree of Life from Bill Pohlad's River Road Entertainment. Though the film might be an awards season magnet with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn starring, the distributor is flush with those kinds of films already, and will release in 2011. At the Toronto International Film Festival, Searchlight will fete 127 Hours, Black Swan, Conviction and Never Let Me Go"
Obviously Fox Searchlight has a season full of contenders with not enough room to campaign a movie of this magnitude. This is bad news for those of us desperate to see a new film from this director but it is good news overall for the film itself. Fox Searchlight is the cream of the crop of small budget film distributors and has done an exemplary job marketing its big players in recent years (Juno, Little Miss Sunshine and Slumdog Millionaire).
Looks like we will have to wait one more year.
With Black Swan now having screened at both Venice and Telluride there is a lot of buzz about Natalie Portman's lead performance as the ballerina dealing with psychological issues. Just days after the buzz began it is being reported that she has been offered the lead role in Alfonso Cuaron's new film Gravity. Angelina Jolie had originally been cast in the role but dropped out.
Over at Home Theater Forum on the tread about the upcoming release of The Thin Red Line there is a lot of interesting information in regards to Malick's films past and future. One of the users there claims he has seen The Tree Of Life at work and had this to say.
"The main bulk of the film is about his childhood growing up in Texas (reels 3-7 out of 9!). The "creation" footage is outstanding, absolutely jawdropping, and does indeed feel like 2001 - a lot of the effects are practical and your eyes can see that, which makes it really fascinating to watch. I don't have a problem with the creation footage being connected to his boyhood, after all, most boys love dinosaurs, so that's how I looked at it.