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‘Tree of Life’ Cinematographer Shot Everything But The Actors

In an interview with the LA Times, Tree of Life cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki claimed that it was different than any other experience he’s had with filmmaking. Those words carry an immense weight considering the man is in his 28th year of his career and has worked on films as diverse as Children of Men and Y Tu Mama Tambien.

What was different about it? They didn’t focus on the actors.

“So the actors are performing the dialogue, but Terry [Malick] isn’t interested in dialogue. So they’re talking, and we’re shooting a reflection or we’re shooting the wind or we’re shooting the frame of the window, and then we finally pan to them when they finish the dialogue,” said Lubezki.

That’s incredibly fascinating, but it’s not surprising to see that Malick took an unconventional take on the film. It will be surprising however to see whether it works or if it leaves the mind of the viewer stuck somewhere in the clouds. Lebezki also went on to speak about the actors’ reactions to the odd filmmaking technique, and to claim that the movie is meant to evoke a lot of memories for the viewer instead of being a purely narrative experience.

Sure does sound like Malick, alright.

The interview is definitely worth a quick look, especially if you’re one of the many anticipating the release of Tree of Life on May 27th.

No matter what, as we’ve seen with the trailer for Tree of Life, the cinematography is unparalleled. Absolutely beautiful work.

What do you think?

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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