Tree Of Life Cinematographer Talks About Working With Terrence Malick

Terrence Malick is one of the most interesting filmmakers today. He doesn’t make a lot of films but when he does it’s considered an event.

There is a lot of anticipation for his newest film Tree Of Life starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. The trailer looks beautiful but is very vague on what the film is actually about.

Emanuel “Chivo” Lubezki the cinematographer recently spoke to the LA Times about what it was like working on the film:

Once you think you got the formula, you realized there is no formula, it’s like no set I ever worked on.

Lubezki reveals that shooting coverage on this film was very different from conventional shoots:

So the actors are performing the dialogue, but Terry 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

Apparently on set Malick did not talk to his actors nor give them direction:

I think they thought we were insane,” Chivo said. “Sean is a director, and I’m sure he wondered ‘Is this method something I want to learn or is it something I never want to repeat?’ For Brad I think it took him a couple of days or a week to get into the spirit.”

I don’t know what to make of this film. The trailer shows images and they are beautiful but doesn’t give us any idea what the story is about. By viewing the trailer and reading about the film it sounds like it’s a bit self-indulgent. I’m not a fan of Malick’s work, I think because he doesn’t make one movie after another he’s got a mystic about his brilliance.

The Tree Of Life opens on May 27, 2011.



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January 2011

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