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The Playlist

12 Things You Need To Know About The Making Of Terrence Malick's 'The Tree Of Life'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 27, 2011 5:51 AM
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  • 22 Comments
Terrence Malick's long-awaited “The Tree of Life,” opening today in select cities, is the kind of movie that is designed to be talked about, chewed on, and poured over. It’s a movie that demands you grasp at the unknowable, is challenging and gorgeous in some very deep and profound levels and asks big questions about who we are and where we came from, not just on a human level but on a grander, “how does life exist” scale. (On the same token, its complete lack of an identifiable narrative/dramatic structure and emotional aloofness might drive you batty.) Looking into “The Tree of Life” (and beyond), though, you’ll find even more tantalizing questions, possibilities, and dead-ends. The fact that most of us are still as intrigued, befuddled, and mystified by the film after we’ve seen it is a testament to its singular, oddball power. So we now present to you 10 things we’ve learned about 'Tree of Life' that maybe you never knew. This feature is probably best enjoyed after you’ve seen the film, but we give proper warning when discussing plot (if that’s the right word) specifics.

More Thoughts & 3 More Reviews Of Terrence Malick's Luminous, But Uneven 'Tree Of Life'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 17, 2011 3:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Yes, you've read our initial review of Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life," but we've got a few more, simply because it's a film that demands discussion and contrary to popular belief, members of The Playlist do not share a brain or utilize hivemind thinking, but three writers from the site saw the film at different times yesterday in New York and L.A., and all of us came to relatively the same conclusions. Three more writers, three different, but similar takes on the film. Find them after the jump.

Brad Pitt On Malick's Cannes Absence: "He Focuses On Building Houses, Not Selling Real Estate"

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 16, 2011 5:04 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Plus 9 New Photos From The FilmAlright, Terrence Malick's long-awaited, long-anticipated "The Tree of Life" has landed at the Cannes Film Festival and as many of us have guessed, reactions are mixed as the experimental, more meditative-focused rather than narrative-focused picture has proven to be a divisive effort (here's our reaction and review and here's an extremely comprehensive compilation of reaction from the criterati at large).

Brad Pitt Plays The Masculine Asshole Dad (As Promised) In New 'Tree Of Life' Clip

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 12, 2011 9:54 AM
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  • 20 Comments
"TREE OF LIFE!" "TREE OF LIFE!" USA! USA! "TREE OF LIFE!"

Sean Penn Was Set To Star In Zach Braff's 'Open Hearts' Before It Fell Apart At The Last Minute

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 21, 2011 8:03 AM
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  • 3 Comments
You might not remember this, but way, way back in the day -- and not too long after "Garden State" hit it big -- Zach Braff had an ambitious plan to do a remake of Susanne Bier's grim drama "Open Hearts." The story follows an engaged couple who deal with the aftermath of a car crash that leaves the man paralyzed from the waist down, and to make matters more complicated, the woman falls in love with the husband of the person who caused the accident. Fun times! Braff said he was drawn to the material because it managed to be about "lust, love, loneliness and so many things and dealt with them in a way an American movie typically wouldn't." And while that film obviously never happened, we'll always be left wondering what could have been because the actor/director reveals he had some top-shelf talent lined up for it.

Josh Brolin Enters The Mix To Join Ryan Gosling & Sean Penn In 'The Gangster Squad'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 21, 2011 7:09 AM
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  • 6 Comments
You gotta love Deadline and how they conveniently overlook their own reporting so they can go ahead put a big TOLDJA on their stories.

Watch: Sean Penn Gets His Full Robert Smith On In Clip From 'This Must Be The Place'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 15, 2011 2:47 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Clip removed at the request of the filmmakers.

Cannes Preview: First Official Look At Sean Penn In 'This Must Be The Place'; Clip From 'Miss Bala'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 14, 2011 10:06 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Based on that pic alone, via InContention, we'd already be lining up for "This Must Be the Place," but with the great cast and talent behind the film on top of it, it's yet another exciting entry in what is shaping up to be one helluva year on the Croisette. Starring Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Harry Dean Stanton, Kerry Condon, Judd Hirsch and Bono’s daughter Eve Hewson, the film, directed by Paolo Sorrentino ("Il Divo"), centers on Penn's character, an aging rock star, who becomes obsessed in tracking down the Nazi criminal who tortured his father. Sounds pretty great, right? Well, if that's not enough, David Byrne is collaborating with Will Oldham on the soundtrack. Game, set, match. The film will premiere In Competition at Cannes; bigger pic of Penn and that hair below.

Sean Penn Eyeing 'The Last Photograph' With Christian Bale, Niels Arden Oplev To Direct

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 12, 2011 9:18 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Penn Turned Down Roles In Both 'Tales From The Gangster Squad' & 'Man Of Steel'Here's a film we haven't heard about in a little. "The Last Photograph" cropped up last summer with Christian Bale attached to star and now there is new movement on the project.

Warner Bros. Wants Sean Penn & Ryan Gosling For Ruben Fleischer's 'Tales From The Gangster Squad'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 30, 2011 7:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment
There is no doubt that "Tales From The Gangster Squad" is very, very high on the priority list at Warner Bros. With names like Darren Aronofsky, Paul Greengrass, Francis Lawrence, Martin Campbell, Greg Berlanti, Scott Cooper and Jose Padilha all being tossed around at various points to direct the film, "Zombieland" helmer Ruben Fleischer landed the gig late last year. But WB isn't done yet trying to lure top talent to their crimeland pic.

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