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big piece on the site today is Michael Tully's review of Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life. I'll be honest; I saw the film at its Cannes premiere, and I was disappointed. I was surprised too -- surprised by what I was disappointed with. I'm going to write about the nature of that disappointment along with a couple of other Cannes films in the next week, but Michael's review is the first I've read that responds to the feelings I had while watching it. He contextualizes it in the right way, I think, and offers a reading that's not based on supposing its religiosity.Our
There's quite a bit of other Cannes material on the site, most of which is linked to in our Recent Blogs section below. Because I have several pieces for you to read there, I'll be light on the newsletter this week. Check out the The Tree of Life review, and if you see the film this weekend (and you should, because it's not like anything else), email us and let us know your reactions for the blog. You can always drop a line at editor.filmmakermagazine At gmail.com.
See you next week.
PRODUCER FELLOWS ANNOUNCED FOR TAP PROGRAM IFP is proud to announce the fellows for its newest initiative for independent producers, TRANS ATLANTIC PARTNERS (TAP). A three-module, intensive training and networking Program for producers from the U.S., Europe, and Canada, Trans Atlantic Partners will allow select producers from New York City, Europe and Canada to participate in an intensive, year-long series of training and networking programs, including workshops in Berlin, at IFP’s Independent Film Week and Strategic Partners, Canada’s premier international co-production event. IFP’s inaugural fellows are: Nekisa Cooper (Pariah), Jay Dubin & Cora Olson (Good Dick), Jared Moshe (Beautiful Losers), Amy Rapp (Return), Ron Simons (Night Catches Us), and Christine Walker (Howl). IFP Mentors providing their industry expertise during Trans Atlantic Partners are John Hadity, Lars Knudsen & Jay Van Hoy, and Wilder Knight. More about Trans Atlantic Partners here.
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THE TREE OF LIFE By Michael Tully
***NOTE: WHILE I’D VENTURE TO SAY THIS MOVIE CAN’T BE “SPOILED” BY A REVIEW, THERE IS A LOT OF SPECIFIC DETAIL CONTAINED IN THIS (PERHAPS TOO LENGTHY) REACTION. FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH, I SUGGEST THAT YOU EXPERIENCE THE FILM HAVING READ AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE BEFOREHAND.***
It seems implausible to me that anyone would even think of writing a review of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life after only one viewing, and not just because this is one of those decades-in-the-making projects that was clearly designed by its creator to be digested over a longer-rather-than-shorter haul. For better or worse, an epic gestation period like the one surrounding The Tree of Life couldn’t do anything but create an unavoidably heightened aura of expectation that would negatively influence a first encounter with it. There’s just too much baggage, making it impossible to have an objectively subjective reaction. Everybody’s different, of course, but now that I’ve seen it twice and confronted my own shifting perspective, I feel strongly that a few days’ remove and a second viewing, at the very least, are necessary for it to speak to a viewer on its own terms, as opposed to the other way around. read more THE TREE OF LIFE The fifth film in forty years from director Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line) was met with mixed reactions last week during its Cannes premiere, then went on to win the Palme d'Or. Ostensibly the story of a son (Sean Penn) coming to terms with the memory of his father (Brad Pitt) and death of his younger brother, Malick boldly extends his reach outward, encompassing threads as ambitious as the power of faith and the origins of life. The Tree of Life is simultaneously breathtaking and frustrating; sure to polarize audiences and ignite discussion for years to come. This week on the blog, Lauren Wissot interviews Jay Duplass about his new short biopic Kevin (pictured left); Livia Bloom gives an overview of Cannes' Iranian cinema offerings; Howard Feinstein defends Lars von Trier; and Scott Macaulay discusses new distribution thinking at Cannes, visits its Short Film Corner and Producers Network, and takes the pulse of its film market.
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RADU MUNTEAN, “TUESDAY, AFTER CHRISTMAS” By Damon Smith
Too often in the movies, affairs are either blithely romanticized in the grand European tradition of middlebrow “passion” films (The French Lieutenant’s Woman comes to mind) or used as a teaching tool to bludgeon audiences into accepting a damning moral perspective on the consequences of extramarital activity. (See Little Children, for instance.) Life has its own current, though, and the nature of relationships sometimes follows a pattern that is chaotic and irrational, messy and perturbing, where the boundaries between love and naked contempt (ah, Godard!) are no longer discernible. Movies from Voyage to Italy all the way down to Maren Ade’s Everyone Else have portrayed intra-relationship dynamics with emotional honesty and astute insight, leaving us with memorable impressions of love in a state of deterioration, or foundering on the shoals of time. In his fourth feature film, Romanian filmmaker Radu Muntean (Boogie, The Paper Will Be Blue) again fastens his attention on the question of intimacy and loneliness, crafting a frank, tightly constructed three-character drama that speaks volumes about marriage, desire, and how we negotiate the varieties of attachment we have to other people.read more
Jacksonville Film Festival
Regular Deadline: May 27
WAB Deadline: July 1
Festival Dates: October 13 - 16
Philadelphia Film Festival
Early Deadline: May 27
WAB Deadline: July 29
Festival Dates: October 13 - 23
Cincinnati Film Festival
Regular Deadline: May 31
WAB Deadline: July 15
Festival Dates: September 29 - October 2