Though the summer season is in full force this weekend with The Hangover Part II and Kung Fu Panda 2 poised to make over $100 million each, it is Terrance Malick’s The Tree of Life that will leave viewers the most awed. With spectacle ranging from sumptuous images of the beginning and end of the universe to brief glimpses of evolution on earth and even dinosaurs as well as touches of magical realism, this film is an epic tonal poem that left me speechless. My eyes ached because I didn’t want to blink for fear of missing even one moment. After the film, I stumbled out into the streets of Los Angeles and walked for eight miles, contemplating what I had just seen.
Earlier this week I was lucky enough to sit down with actress Jessica Chastain to discuss the Palme d’Or Winning film, which also stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. In our interview we discuss her proclivity toward period pieces, rubbing pepper in Pitt’s eyes, how this film inspired her maternal instincts, the dangers of Motocross and much more. Read on for the full interview.
In 2008 I attended the Telluride film festival and found myself sitting next to film producer Bill Pohlad before a screening. I asked him what he was working on and he told me a bit about Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, which is finally coming out this Friday after a lengthy post-production process that ended with a Palme d’Or win at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. He also told me about a companion piece intended for IMAX. As I was talking to him as a film lover and not a journalist, I couldn’t report the story. Luckily, I was able to sit down with him (and Dede Gardner) today for the film’s press junket and finally get something on the record. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Fest president Gilles Jacob and artistic director Thierry Frémaux announced the official selection of the 64th Cannes Film Festival at the Grand Hôtel in Paris today. And what a line-up it is.
Cannes favorites Pedro Almodóvar, the Dardenne brothers, Lars Von Trier, Nanni Moretti, Radu Mihaileanu and Aki Kaurismäki are on the prestigious list, as well as four female filmmakers. As previously reported, Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, will get its worldwide premiere in Cannes. Penn will also walk up the famous red carpet stairs for Paolo Sorrentino’s This Must Be the Place.
The 19-strong list also includes two newcomers. Julia Leigh and Markus Schleinzer are competing with their first feature films, Sleeping Beauty , starring Sucker Punch‘s Emily Browning, and Michael. Leigh is one of four women directors recognized by the fest this year, alongside Naomi Kawase, Lynne Ramsay and French-born Maïwenn, who was once married to Luc Besson and has enjoyed more success as a director than an actress over the past few years. The selection for Un Certain Regard, which will open with Gus Van Sant’s Restless also features an eclectic mix of filmmakers. Full details after the jump.
You might want to remember the name Jessica Chastain. The reason is while you don’t know her name right now, by the end of the year, you will. That’s because Chastain has been acting in a ton of high profile movies over the past few years and most are going to get released this year. Here’s the list: Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, Ami Canaan Mann’s The Fields, John Madden’s The Debt, Al Pacino’s Wilde Salome, Tate Taylor’s The Help, and she’s about to start filming John Hillcoat’s The Wettest Country in the World opposite Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy. As I said, she’s about to step into the spotlight.
At this year’s Sundance, I was able to sit down with Chastain for an extended video interview to talk about Take Shelter – which premiered at this year’s Festival. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories), the film is about a young husband and father that must decide whether to shelter his family from the storm, or from himself, after being plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions. The film stars Michael Shannon and he delivers an incredible performance. Of course one of the reasons he’s so great is being able to play off Chastain, who really impressed me as a young mother and wife.
During our extended conversation, we discussed her early TV work like NBC’s Journeyman, what it was like to work for Malick on Tree of Life and his next film which stars Ben Affleck, who she plays in Wettest Country, and so much more. If you’d like to learn a lot about this rising actress, hit the jump to watch the interview. I’ve also pulled some quotes about working for Malick which only make me more excited to see The Tree of Life.
Terrence Malick’s upcoming film, “Tree of Life” was tentatively schedule for December 25th of this year but Malick probably woke up in a cold sweat at the thought of releasing a film and tarnishing his rep of making sure they take a few decades to make. It’s taken 30 years to do “Tree of Life” and since everyone likes to keep a streak alive, Malick’s decided you won’t be getting this movie for Christmas. However, he does have plenty of coal lumps if anyone’s interested. Hit the jump for when you might see “Tree of Life” in your lifetime.
Director Terrence Malick doesn’t do anything small. He makes epic films, tells epic stories, and while it’s just conjecture on my part, probably refuses to have sex with anyone under the height of seven feet.
With that in mind, he has culled an IMAX Documentary out of his upcoming film “Tree of Life”, a life-spanning story (of the narrative, although I wouldn’t put it past Malick to make a film that actually lasted a lifetime) starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn as father and son trying to forgive each other. A documentary coming out of a movie isn’t anything new but it’s usually something that ends up as a special feature on the DVD. For Terrence Malick, it ends up as an IMAX Documentary.
Hit the jump to learn about the project and how many years you’ll have to set aside if you choose to see it.