Things get deep and godly as Zach shares his love of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life.

THE TREE OF LIFE (2011)

The Tree of Life is a 2011 American experimental drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain. The film chronicles the origins and meaning of life by way of a middle-aged man’s childhood memories of his family living in 1950s Texas, interspersed with imagery of the origins of the universe and the inception of life on Earth.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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3 Comments

  1. drago
    January 23, 2015 at 12:11 pm — Reply

    It’s interesting Matthew had such an emotional reaction to this film, I’m just the opposite. Mallick’s pacing always seems so tedious and plodding that I almost immediately disconnect from the story. I can never connect to his plots or his characters, they’re both almost so inhuman and cold that there’s just no hooks there for me.

    There was such a buzz around A Thin Red Line because of him I remember being so excited to see a war movie with this great director who hadn’t made a movie in forever. Then I saw the movie and I nearly fell asleep, it was awful. This was the last Mallick film I think I’ll ever watch, three awful films (Thin Red Line, New World and this) is enough to scare me off.

    I always got the impression he was doing a film class project, let’s just play with techniques, splice them together and hope the girl with issues in the corner thinks I’m cool type of thing. It was great that he brought in Douglass Trumball to do the FX because he didn’t like CGI, was Trumball’s first film since Blade Runner.

    I’m not a film maker and I guess I’m not too big on techniques or art films, I’m bigger on story telling and film is second only to books/spoken performance in its ability to relay characters and a compelling story so maybe that’s why I don’t like Mallick’s work much.

    Anyhoo, my favorite ZOF cast yet. Really thoughtful discussion with many different perspectives and as corny as it sounds I think it’s really brave for anyone to just lay themselves out there on the net like Matthew did talking about his Mom and how the film really disturbed him. Maybe someday we’ll get a Zach film? That would be cool. Great job guys. Hopefully once money becomes less scare I can do more than comment on things.

  2. Kirby
    January 23, 2015 at 9:14 pm — Reply

    I echo a lot of Drago’s thoughts. I find this movie to be insufferably pretentious, filled with the worst beat poetry as dialogue. Mallick knows where the camera needs to go, I will give him that, but I don’t feel he has a comprehension of character or really how to treat actors.

    Zack did mention how there was hours of fully useable material for this film shot, like with Thin Red Line & To the Wonder, but what was going to be in the film wasn’t decided until the editing process. So what this amounts to in my eye, is the actors have probably put a lot of emotion and heart into performances that we as the viewers will never see. As a result, this has left Sean Penn (whom I don’t even care that much as an actor), & Adrian Brody mad at Mallick with the intent to never do one of his films again. So in my belief (which people are free to disagree with), a lot of good can be made in the editing bay, but the entire movie’s direction should not be; six hours being cherry picked into two does not seem right, and completely directionless.

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