942 The Tree of Life

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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knives
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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1151 Post by knives » Tue May 15, 2018 6:00 pm

One featuring a series of crimes against humanity and the other with a nice Morricone score.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1152 Post by Noiretirc » Tue May 15, 2018 6:30 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:According to the press around it, this cut was put together for the first time and financed by Criterion, so no one's seen it in this form.
The fact that Criterion basically produced this is huge news for me. This has to be classified as a rather big project with Malick, right? I cannot visualize Malick carelessly slapping 50mins together. I wonder if we will see similar new editions of Malick films post Tree Of Life.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1153 Post by What A Disgrace » Tue May 15, 2018 7:19 pm

Perhaps I am crazy, but I think I will wait for the hopefully inevitable 4K Edition.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1154 Post by zedz » Tue May 15, 2018 7:37 pm

pzadvance wrote:Variety said the new cut was 179 minutes, and Criterion now says the new cut has 50 additional minutes added to the 139-minute theatrical runtime...

So, whose math do we think was off?
Maybe in the new cut Malick removed Sean Penn's ten minutes from the original movie and replaced it with humpback whales humping.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1155 Post by Werewolf by Night » Tue May 15, 2018 8:37 pm

Is it too unkind to say that would be an improvement?

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1156 Post by whaleallright » Tue May 15, 2018 9:02 pm

Wow, Criterion just posted a few minutes of exclusive footage from the new cut!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuaOYz4YTN8" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1157 Post by zedz » Tue May 15, 2018 9:15 pm

whaleallright wrote:Wow, Criterion just posted a few minutes of exclusive footage from the new cut!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuaOYz4YTN8" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Was that Sean Penn coming out of the egg?

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1158 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 15, 2018 9:19 pm

I didn't care for this film, but I'm willing to give a longer cut a chance-- I think it's possible that the big lack I felt the first time could conceivably be filled-in by more material

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1159 Post by Brian C » Tue May 15, 2018 9:24 pm

whaleallright wrote:Wow, Criterion just posted a few minutes of exclusive footage from the new cut!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuaOYz4YTN8" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Huh, not what I expected ... when the promo materials said "no additional effects shots", I just assumed it was 50 minutes of Sean Penn reading his poetry.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1160 Post by Noiretirc » Tue May 15, 2018 11:39 pm

It's strange how Penn in this film is the subject of many jokes. Because, even though I have not seen this film in over two years, I remember Penn in a powerful albeit understated and quiet role. When I recall The Tree Of Life, Penn is upfront in my memories.

Strange, huh?

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1161 Post by dda1996a » Wed May 16, 2018 3:13 am

Not really. I mean he's third in my sequences preference, as everything in the 50 is perfect and Genesis is also beautiful. But I rather like it. Penn's parts were also Malick's first modern short pieces, which back then was both new and eye-opening. I still love the shit out of this film so excited for even more footage. Shame this is the last Malick I like

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1162 Post by tenia » Wed May 16, 2018 3:37 am

The Tree of Life is one of the new movies that moved me most these past 10 years, so I'm all for 50 more minutes.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1163 Post by Lost Highway » Wed May 16, 2018 3:50 am

It’s probably a question of sensibility but as someone who runs a mile from anybody who waffles on about being “spiritual” this movie was like getting beaten to death with a rolled up yoga mat as far as I’m concerned.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1164 Post by tenia » Wed May 16, 2018 4:49 am

Outside of any spiritual consideration, I thought it was a very moving poetic take on forgivingness. And as a whole, while I'm not very fond of heavy spiritual movies either (though seemingly not as much as you), I found plenty to like outside this area. But I suppose it's a typically YMMV zone.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1165 Post by dda1996a » Wed May 16, 2018 4:58 am

Lost Highway wrote:It’s probably a question of sensibility but as someone who runs a mile from anybody who waffles on about being “spiritual” this movie was like getting beaten to death with a rolled up yoga mat as far as I’m concerned.
I think there's a bid difference between those pseudo spirituals (and Malick reached that level with everything post ToL) and trying to express the ineffable using cinema. I'm a sucker just for those beautiful small moments of childhood memories, that Malick goes the extra mile and attempts to tie everything together (death, nature vs nurture, the whole fricking universe being made as a way to understand and cope with our little life) but does so through sound and image.
Do you also not like Dreyer, Tarkovsky, Angelopoulos and Kieslowski?

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1166 Post by tenia » Wed May 16, 2018 5:06 am

To be exact, ToL has more, to me, to be linked with classical philosophy themes than spirituality, the most obvious exemple to me being the hard working father working on big modern noisy things vs the nurturing nature-loving calming mother.
All these small things moved me a lot. The way Malick represents the arrival of a child in a family, coping with death, the way the children see their mother as some kind of goddess.
Maybe it's spiritual, I guess, but not directly a discussion over God, more how to see one's life, one's actions. It's, in a way, not very different from what tons and tons of artists have been discussing for centuries.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1167 Post by dda1996a » Wed May 16, 2018 5:15 am

tenia wrote:To be exact, ToL has more, to me, to be linked with classical philosophy themes than spirituality, the most obvious exemple to me being the hard working father working on big modern noisy things vs the nurturing nature-loving calming mother.
All these small things moved me a lot. The way Malick represents the arrival of a child in a family, coping with death, the way the children see their mother as some kind of goddess.
Maybe it's spiritual, I guess, but not directly a discussion over God, more how to see one's life, one's actions. It's, in a way, not very different from what tons and tons of artists have been discussing for centuries.
I agree with you, but it depends on each person's definition of spirituality. That's why I said this isn't pseudo, like Point Break or Revenant (I think the Revenant is a good counterpoint, as that film tries hard to reach Malick profoundness but fails)

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1168 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed May 16, 2018 5:52 am

Noiretirc wrote:It's strange how Penn in this film is the subject of many jokes. Because, even though I have not seen this film in over two years, I remember Penn in a powerful albeit understated and quiet role. When I recall The Tree Of Life, Penn is upfront in my memories.

Strange, huh?
Sean Penn was in this film? Must've missed it.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1169 Post by Lost Highway » Wed May 16, 2018 7:28 am

dda1996a wrote:
Lost Highway wrote:It’s probably a question of sensibility but as someone who runs a mile from anybody who waffles on about being “spiritual” this movie was like getting beaten to death with a rolled up yoga mat as far as I’m concerned.
I think there's a bid difference between those pseudo spirituals (and Malick reached that level with everything post ToL) and trying to express the ineffable using cinema. I'm a sucker just for those beautiful small moments of childhood memories, that Malick goes the extra mile and attempts to tie everything together (death, nature vs nurture, the whole fricking universe being made as a way to understand and cope with our little life) but does so through sound and image.
Do you also not like Dreyer, Tarkovsky, Angelopoulos and Kieslowski?
I loved all of that in Badlands and Days of Heaven, the latter I count as one of my favourite films. But in those film the nature imagery, the interconnectedness was in the service of a drama which I found compelling. Once Malick reduced everything to his directorial flourishes in search for The Meaning of Life, his films lost me. It’s exactly these ideas of everything being interconnected which I have no use for. It’s stoner mysticism at best for me.

The closest to that type of thing I respond to in drama would be Thornton Wilder‘s Our Town. While often mistaken for being folksy and twee, its view of the universe and our place in it, is far closer to my heart. Tree of Life suggests that in the interconnectedness of all things on earth there is something bigger than us. It suggests a sort of Heaven. That veers too close to religion and spirituality for me and it doesn’t connect with me. Thornton Wilder says, this is all there is. His afterlife isn’t to be taken literally, it’s a dramatic device to reflect on the short time we have on earth. The meaning is in the everyday and that’s pretty much it. No larger purpose, no god, no reconciliations in the afterlife.

I like Dreyer but you are indeed right that I don’t connect with the other directors you‘ve mentioned. I’ve only seen one Angelopoulos which didn’t do much for me and Tarkovsky‘s and Kieslowski‘s mysticism and spirituality run pretty much contrary to my sensibilities. You can add Bresson as well. Give me the humanism of Truffaut, the politics of Fassbinder, the satire of political and religious institutions of Buñuel, the romantic cynicism of Hitchcock and the surreal anarchy of Lynch instead. They are the filmmakers I feel philosophically closest to.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1170 Post by dda1996a » Wed May 16, 2018 11:24 am

I guess you answered it yourself,so there really isn't much to go off from here. I'm just more of an inquisitive person, so just raising questions and leaving them open for me to think is usually what I find most illuminating. Hence my deep devotion to those directors I mentioned

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1171 Post by Lost Highway » Wed May 16, 2018 1:17 pm

dda1996a wrote:I guess you answered it yourself,so there really isn't much to go off from here. I'm just more of an inquisitive person, so just raising questions and leaving them open for me to think is usually what I find most illuminating. Hence my deep devotion to those directors I mentioned
I didn’t pose a question. I answered you, so I don’t understand the first sentence.

I don’t know why preferring some filmmakers to others makes me less of an inquisitive person. All of the directors I’ve mentioned have made films which leave questions at the end. My inquiries just have more to do with moral, scientific, ethical and political conundrums than with spirituality or religion, which as an atheist I reject. That doesn’t mean I’m not curious about our place in the world.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1172 Post by whaleallright » Wed May 16, 2018 3:55 pm

I think Tree of Life is pretty evenly split between startlingly vivid evocations of private moments and clichéd imagery that just fails on a visceral level (and it comes pretty thick in the latter part of the film). when I first saw it, I focused on the latter and really disliked it. subsequent viewings made me appreciate it much more, but I don't think I'll ever be anything other than divided on its merits.

I have no idea what this has to do with Dreyer who to my knowledge never used a single visual cliché in his work. his films work powerfully as human dramas, not as allegories or statements or "spiritual" musings.

I hate the mystification that often goes on regarding "spiritual" directors. Paul Schrader has a lot to answer for.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1173 Post by The Pachyderminator » Wed May 16, 2018 4:21 pm

Personally, I do find the drama in Tree of Life compelling. I think Jack seems like a very real and empathetic person, not least in his inchoate search for transcendence of mortality and "the meaning of life" - and, importantly, I think this search makes compelling drama even if materialist and/or atheist philosophy is true. It could be that the spiritual quest is inherently futile and tragic, and it's certainly true that it very easily shades into fanaticism on the one hand and a vague pseudo-religious aetheticism on the other. But either way, it seems to be very deeply rooted in human nature. I'd hate to think that being an atheist means one can't appreciate this drama. (This is not to say that Lost Highway said that, or that there's anything wrong at all with preferring cinema that focuses on more worldly issues.)

I'd agree that the most "literal" parts are the least effective. The part where people are strolling around on an anonymous tidal flat has never done much for me, either now or when I first saw the film as an impressionable 20-year-old. The film best shows God (or what you will) by finding new ways to look at the beauty of creation. The same is true of, say, Kieslowski, as his reputation for brilliant close-ups suggests. I think the Three Colors trilogy is spiritually powerful, but it achieves this power by looking closely at things in the world. Almost anything will do, even a sugar cube dissolving in coffee or (in Decalogue 2, if memory serves) a fly on the wall.

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1174 Post by dda1996a » Wed May 16, 2018 4:21 pm

I meant it as there wasn't much to go on, we'll just agree we have different tastes (even though I like all the directors you mentioned). I meant inquisitive in the sense that I find questions a lot more interesting than getting answers. Hence why the voice-over in Thin Red Line-ToL (from To the Wonder they do reach cliche levels) never bothered me as they made me swoon.
I don't think anyone can watch Order, Day of Wrath or most of all Joan of Arc without mentioning spirituality. I evoked directors who personally are on that spectrum, that of religion and spirituality. Say what you will but I consider his films nothing but religious works of art

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Re: 942 The Tree of Life

#1175 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed May 16, 2018 9:19 pm

whaleallright wrote:I hate the mystification that often goes on regarding "spiritual" directors. Paul Schrader has a lot to answer for.
Indeed. ;-)

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