The Arts

The Tree of Life by Terrence Malick

The Tree of Life by legendary director Terrence Malick, starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain won the top prize, best film, Palme D’or at the Cannes Film Festival which opens May 27, 2011 in the U.S.

Pitt plays a very strict father in a Texan household during the 1950’s. His wife is played by Jessica Chastain.

Although it is receiving mixed reviews, including audience boo’s and applause at the premiere, the subject matter of the film will likely be of interest to an audience interested in philosophy and spirituality as it delves into explorations of the birth of the cosmos, the world, time, infinity and our place within it. Symbolism in images of the beauty of the universe, from micro to macro, naturally reminds the viewer of our surreal wonders beyond our everyday concerns.

Taking an in the moment approach, Malick encouraged initial script promptings to develop into unscripted freedom allowing the actors to explore improvisation in context. Unrepeatable, special, true moments naturally emerged and were treasured in the film making. Scenes transformed spontaneously during filming providing fresh perspectives to make the final cut.

Brad Pitt is the face of this movie, as Terrence Mallick’s shyness does not lend him to be interested in promotion. His avoidance of interviews has long given him a mysterious persona. Instead of creating hype for the film, Malick prefers the work to speak for itself.

Other notable films by Terrence Malick

  • The New World
  • The Thin Red Line
  • Days of Heaven
  • Badlands

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