Category Archives: In Theatres

In Theatres: The Tree of Life

Fresh from the Cannes Film Festival and currently in select theatres is Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. The film received a healthy mix of boos and applause at Cannes, but acclaimed filmmaker Malick had the last laugh when his film won the coveted Palme d’Or. Malick is one of those directors you keep your eye on. He doesn’t make films that often (a good 20 years between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line), but when he does, the epic productions usually pack a punch, usually in story and visuals.

I’ve been looking forward to The Tree of Life for a while now, as I’m a fan of Malick’s and Sean Penn’s and the film is being distributed by Fox Searchlight, my favorite distributor. The more I read about the film, the more the idea seems to fly over my head, so I’ll revert to the plot summary from Yahoo! Movies:

The impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950s following the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years, as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father. Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick’’s signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life.

Director: Terrence Malick

Screenwriter: Terrence Malick

Producers: Dede Gardner, Sarah Green, Grant Hill, Brad Pitt, Bill Pohlad

Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Fiona Shaw

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi

Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Official Site: foxsearchlight.com/thetreeoflife

Runtime: 138 min.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw3QBALWa60&feature=fvst]

In Theatres: POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Morgan Spurlock, the Oscar-nominated director of Super Size Me (2004), brings his latest film to the big screen—a documentary about the commercialization of movies. This is of particular interest to me because I’ve long been interested in how advertising and film merge, having written my undergraduate thesis on product placement in film and working in the advertising industry (day job).

In POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Spurlock takes a comedic look at how advertising influences film, and he does it by breaking down the fourth wall to show how this very film succumbs to the influence (and paycheck) of marketers. The film opened on April 22 by Sony Pictures Classics.

Director: Morgan Spurlock

Screenwriters: Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chillnick

Producers: Jeremy Chillnick, Keith Calder, Jessica Wu, Morgan Spurlock

Cast: Morgan Spurlock

Genre: Documentary

Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Official Site: sonyclassics.com/greatestmovie

Runtime: 90 min.