Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

The Tree of Life is a 2011 American drama film with experimental elements written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, and Jessica Chastain. Malick's 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. After several years in development and missing 2009 and 2010 release dates, the film premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d'Or. The film received widespread critical acclaim, but also polarizing responses to Malick's use of technical and artistic imagery, directorial style, and fragmented non-linear narrative. In January 2012, the film received three Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography.

* Brad Pitt as Mr. O'Brien
* Sean Penn as Jack
* Jessica Chastain as Mrs. O'Brien
* Hunter McCracken as Young Jack
* Laramie Eppler as R.L.
* Tye Sheridan as Steve
* Kari Matchett as Jack's Ex
* Joanna Going as Jack's Wife
* Michael Showers as Mr. Brown
* Kimberly Whalen as Mrs. Brown
* Jackson Hurst as Uncle Roy
* Fiona Shaw as Grandmother
* Crystal Mantecon as Elisa
* Tamara Jolaine as Mrs. Stone
* Dustin Allen as George Walsh

After nearly thirty years away from Hollywood, famed special effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull contributed to the visual effects work on The Tree of Life. Malick, a friend of Trumbull, approached him about the effects work and mentioned that he did not like the look of computer-generated imagery. Trumbull asked Malick, "Why not do it the old way? The way we did it in 2001?"

Working with visual effects supervisor Dan Glass, Trumbull used a variety of materials for the creation of the universe sequence. “We worked with chemicals, paint, fluorescent dyes, smoke, liquids, CO2, flares, spin dishes, fluid dynamics, lighting and high speed photography to see how effective they might be,” said Trumbull. “It was a free-wheeling opportunity to explore, something that I have found extraordinarily hard to get in the movie business. Terry didn’t have any preconceived ideas of what something should look like. We did things like pour milk through a funnel into a narrow trough and shoot it with a high-speed camera and folded lens, lighting it carefully and using a frame rate that would give the right kind of flow characteristics to look cosmic, galactic, huge and epic.” The team also included Double Negative in London, under the supervision of Paul Riddle, who handled the astrophysical aspects of the segment. Fluid-based effects were developed by Peter and Chris Parks, who had previously worked on similar effects for The Fountain

1 comment:

The Angry Lurker said...

I like Pitt but this wasn't for me....