The Tree of Life

Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as Raptureness316 and TMal4TheWin in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the pair try to avoid being pretentious at all costs while discussion The Tree of Life, dismissive reactions to art we don’t understand or like, and the nature of randomness in creation. What is art? And what does Hitler have to do with it?

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with Louder Than a Bomb director Greg Jacobs and get an update on how Cannes is shaping up from Simon Gallagher. Plus, Eric D. Snider from Film.com and our very own Matt Patches enter the squared circle of our Movie News Pop Quiz. Then, we spend less than 15 minutes defining art. Take that, thousands of years of philosophy. We get the job done here at Reject Radio, so kick off you shoes and stay awhile. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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It feels like a millennium has passed since it was announced that Terrence Malick – aka The Man Who Won’t Be Rushed – would be next turning his hand to The Tree of Life, which landed at Cannes this morning to shed light on its most infuriatingly purblind synopsis, and a mysterious trailer that didn’t exactly clear things up. Would Malick be able to live up to the increasingly stifling expectations heaped on him by his infamously ponderous post-production technique? Could the film recapture the director’s incredible eye for composition and visuals, or would we be treated to another mess of in-determination, whose quality of substance wildly misses that of its aesthetic, as some have come to predict? Flicking through the accompanying press pack, it is striking to note how much those involved in the film’s production seem to insist on its deep, universally appropriate meaning, and the fact that the film should be judged not as something conventional cinematic, but rather as a unique and visceral experience, infinite in scope, organic, which transcends words and definition. If the alarm bells hadn’t already been ringing, the bell-ringer would surely have collapsed with exhaustion at this point.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with stuntman legend Vic Armstrong (who brought to life Indiana Jones, Superman and James Bond). We also chat with camera operator/cinematographer Peter Simonite (Skateland, Tree of Life), and we dig deeper into the monster-making world of effects master Shannon Shea. Plus, Matt Razak from Flixist spars off with Mike Smith from Examiner.com for our Movie News Pop Quiz, and we all learn an important lesson. By that, I mean a lesson about re-imaginings, reboots and re-re-re-makes. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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Last summer was a good (not great) movie season. Granted, there were some notorious duds with Robin Hood, Jonah Hex, Avatar: The Last Whatever-It’s-Called, the one where Jake Gyllenhaal talked real funny and had his shirt off a lot, and many, many others. And, of course, there were some rather disappointing missed opportunities (*COUGH* Iron Man 2 *COUGH*). But overall, it was a solid time for both big event films and the smaller ones. There were two excellent high profile films (Toy Story 3, Inception) and a handful of great little-seen ones (Animal Kingdom, Cyrus, Solitary Man, etc.). And who could forget about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World? This summer will most likely be no different. There are a few films not to get too excited about, but there are plenty of other films to get tingly about. There are two Marvel films, a new frickin’ Terrence Malick epic, a great looking new X-Men…the list goes on and on. In fact, the list goes on right now with the 15 Must See Movies of Summer 2011:

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Jaws didn’t mean to do it, but Summer has become the biggest business in movie-making. This summer, we’re getting a new batch of movies that the studios are hoping to be gigantic, but thankfully for us, they fit into 6 handy categories. Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius have worked tirelessly (except for five or ten naps) in order to break these movies down and present them to you. What will you be watching this summer? What excites you the most? What do you have the highest hopes for? These films all have the potential to bust blocks, but will it be your block they’re busting? Here they are, the six types of films coming out in the following months.

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So, we now know most of which films will screen in the two major competitions at Cannes this year, and a few out of competition titles as well (including one huge shock for me). Here’s the list in full — great to see The Beaver, and a host of huge-name directors in competition like Von Trier, Almodovar and Miike — and you can expect my commentary to follow soon. Opening Film Midnight In Paris (dir. Woody Allen) Out of Competition The Beaver (dir. Foster) La Conquete (dir. Xavier Durringer) The Artist (dir. Hazanavicius) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (dir. Rob Marshall)

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Terrance Malick’s films have always seemed a bit too airy and enigmatic, and The Tree of Life seems no different based on the trailer. It looks like equal parts Stand By Me, The Fountain, and Introduction to Eastern Philosophy As Seen Through The Eyes of the 1950s Male. It might turn out to be mind blowing or mind numbing. Brad Pitt plays a father to Jack, a young boy who he leans on a bit too heavily. Now an adult (played by Sean Penn), Jack wants to find some peace within that relationship. He also, for some reason, wants to dance around in a cloud of DDT. Check it out for yourself in higher def over at Apple. On a side note, did anyone else get a slight rush of nostalgia seeing Brad Pitt asking another character to hit him in the face? The Tree of Life hits theaters in May 2011.

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Those silly French, they do love to name-drop in their Cannes line-up. Twenty ten will bring names like Jean-Luc Godard, Woody Allen, Steven Frears, Oliver Stone, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and more to the world’s most glamorous film fest, the 63rd Festival de Cannes.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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