If you've been pining for the next Terrence Malick project, today is your lucky day. The director has spent the last five years developing his latest film, The Tree of Life. Based on the first trailer, it was well worth the wait.
Malick's strong suit has always been his ability to tell a story visually. The Thin Red Line is a beautiful ode to life at war. Badlands and Days of Heaven are striking tales of Americana. The New World is a gloomy, historical poem. Each film has a visual aesthetic that wows many, but bores others. His movies are not for everybody, but The Tree of Life looks like it could be his best yet - and that's just based on a trailer.
The trailer presents a vibe almost identical to The Thin Red Line - arguably Malick's best film. A young boy's soft narration is delivered with the poise of an experienced poet. While the trailer provides enough visual exposition to understand the characters involved, it remains mysterious with its powerful imagery and quick cuts.
Watch the trailer to Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life below. I suggest you pump up the volume and play it on the biggest screen possible.
Again, I stress this YouTube format is not enough to do the visuals justice - watch The Tree of Life trailer in full HD splendor by going to Apple Movie Trailers.
You can put the pieces together with clues from the trailer and the general synopsis. This is mostly a 1950s period piece, but clearly has contemporary elements, such as Sean Penn's involvement with NASA. In fact, the vibe is similar to The Fountain, which might serve the story well. A full explanation of The Tree of Life was released at the 2010 American Film Market:
"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."
While the film stars two of Hollywood's biggest names - Brad Pitt and Sean Penn - the visuals rule the trailer. Arguably, the trailer only provides a snippet of the story, so there is much information left to be desired. Once it ends, the anticipation is overwhelming.
The trailer still presents a film with the same structural style as Malick's previous work. If you are not a fan of his pacing, it doesn't look like The Tree of Life will be for you. It plays like a distant memory, likely of Sean Penn's character. The trailer itself is relatively slow, but the imagery drives it along and keeps you wanting more.
You can catch this trailer on the big screen attached to Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, which expands to over 900 theaters this weekend.
The Tree of Life hits theaters on May 27th, 2011.
Source: Apple Movie Trailers