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

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

We imagine these are the sort of desperate chants going on outside the Croisette right now by a few film bloggers in Cannes; perhaps the Film Stage and or the 2008 version of The Playlist (Kevin Jagernauth, I'm looking at you), somehow hoping the film will screen early or perhaps wishing that a super-secret special early screening will take place and they will somehow magically get invited (not a chance, but dare to dream five more days, boys!) "The Tree of Life" screens in France (and New York and L.A., so much for a special premiere) on Monday.

So anywhoo, to this clip. It's like, "Oh, dad, I don't wanna fight! Why ya gotta be such an asshole?" So as Brad Pitt promised back in the day, his father character in Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" is kind of a macho asshole and that's pretty much full on display in this new clip from the film below. If you've been following along closely all these years, you basically know that "The Tree of Life" is Terrence Malick's no-so-thinly-veiled autobiographical look at his family, and his dad being a full-on jerk is the reason he's so damn sensitive and attuned to nature n' shit. Or something like that anyhow. So basically, Sean Penn plays Malick years later, all grief-stricken and angsty because he can't come to terms with his loathing and love for his now-deceased father (or something like that). So stricken with resent, and complicated feelings of anger, loathing, loss, love and stuff, Sean Penn's character wanders the earth, goes into deserts, and then runs into dinosaurs. Uhh, I think.

"The Tree Of Life" hits theaters proper on May 27th (in ahem, limited release only). Brad Pitt picking on his kid below.







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20 Comments

  • DCH | May 15, 2011 4:17 AMReply

    Scribe, are you kidding? This voice is not unique. There are plenty of college freshmen who are on the cynical smartass kick 95% of the time. At some point someone close to them goes "Do you have to be an asshole about everything." Said smartass thinks they are kidding but then notices that their lover, friend or relative has a very serious face. The person is then advised how everything out of their mouth is about how everything sucks. The lesson learned is that moderation is not a bad thing.

    A blog like this is easy to write. After all, there are few things easier in life than being a smartass. What takes talent is writing a humorous piece that does get at the hype around Tree of Life. This is, as with many snark ridden blogs, a not so humorous piece that makes the writer appear insufferable.

  • booooo | May 14, 2011 7:01 AMReply

    I think the asshole is the writer. What a jerk. That is not funny at all.

  • scribe | May 13, 2011 5:12 AMReply

    Robin- the playlist has a unique voice, you want less voice go to THR, Variety or Deadline. Simple as that. I enjoy the playlists and KJ's jokes and less formal reporting and editorializing, if it's not your bag stop being a lazy prick and find another source.

  • Robin Colcord | May 13, 2011 4:08 AMReply

    And I say this all as someone who is guilty of the same shit I'm harping on you guys for. I recently re-read a bunch of film criticism I wrote in my mid-20s and, swear to Christ, I cringed in the EXACT same way I do daily when reading The Playlist. It's a seriously familiar cringe. I stopped trying so fucking hard. Maybe you can too.

  • Robin Colcord | May 13, 2011 4:04 AMReply

    I think a few of you are missing my intent. I couldn't care less if he's making a joke about Tree Of Life. All I was saying was that the writing is LAME AS FUCK. Unfunny. Corny. Understand? Like, I can literally picture the writer squealing in delight as he typed out this piece. If it's an attempt at humor, it reads like only the most self-satisfied, internet-y type of humor one can stomach. Most of the writing on The Playlist is of this bent. And as I said before, I love the swell of updates I get from this site, but the writing itself is juvenile in the worst way possible (ie: reads like a dork TRYING to be juvenile while still importing his sense of cineaste cool to the reader).

    Again, I could give a fuck about someone poking fun at the hype surrounding a MOVIE. My problem is the sheer corniness. This site has WALLY written all over it.

  • Jordan Raup | May 13, 2011 3:57 AMReply

    Thanks for the shout-out :)

  • Corey filmsavior | May 13, 2011 3:50 AMReply

    Hey Robin - Get over it. Lighten up.

    Yes, we are supposed to be very, very serious and astute when it comes to all things Tree of Life. Cracking a joke about it should have everyone up in arms. Puh-leeze. If you've actually been reading this site, you'll know that it has covered The Tree of Life more than any other place on the internets. Every angle, every photo, every rumor, every piece of news has been covered. One attempt at humor should not have you up in arms.

    Relax.

  • Dan | May 13, 2011 3:33 AMReply

    Isn't it a bit arrogant to say, in essence, chill out or leave? You can understand that some people do not like your humor, right? Are you a perfect writer with no room for improvement?

    The thing about self-deprecation is it shifts focus to the self (the writer) away from the subject being written about.

    I think there's some middle-ground here we could all be meeting on.

  • Edward Davis | May 13, 2011 3:26 AMReply

    It's a fun goof. I even take a shot at one of our own writers as we at one point, took it all so deadly serious. It's as self-depricating as it is anything. Chill pills all around. And or as the boss man used to say, if you're not feeling it, go elsewhere. There's a lot more toothless film sites out there than there is ones with something to say. At least that's jusy my personal opinion.

    Like fuck, this IS the most anticipated film of the year (or one of them), can't we all lighten up about it a bit? Renting a sense of humor for that one got who got apoplectic. I think he should have nap.

  • Dan | May 13, 2011 3:22 AMReply

    Though intended as a humor piece, I think the serious reactions are somewhat warranted.

    To each their own, and of course, reading this blog is optional, but understand that pieces like this trivialize filmmakers like Malick trying to do something more than entertain.

    When you treat all kinds of films in the same way (attempts at humor), it brings them down to the same level in terms of reader perception. A lowest common denominator of writing style, if you will. This is not to generalize all of this blog's writers; some are simply better writers than others.

    What's wrong with a little reverence and respect though? Some films deserve better treatment. It's almost as if you're afraid of being called pretentious, so you dumb it down.

    Just my two cents.

  • neil | May 13, 2011 1:33 AMReply

    What a condescending piece of drivel written here. Suggestion, don't bother watching the movie and instead find more TRAILERS you can lay into.

  • Chambord_Ro | May 13, 2011 1:05 AMReply

    Aw c'mon ppl give the man a break !

    I expect ToL as much as anybody else here but it's not like this film or Malick are touched by sanctity and we can't take a poke at him.

    I dig the piece written by ED. That's pretty much why I keep coming to this place after all. The folks here cover quality cinema but with a beer in hand, not ex cathedra.

    As for: Pitt playing an asshole ? No freakin way ! I wish my dad would've teached me how to fist-fight when I was a kid. Would have saved me a lot of bullets later (*cheap joke*)

  • Robin Colcord | May 12, 2011 12:30 PMReply

    I agree.

    Maybe 126,483 years from now this site won't read like a bratty film student editorializing from the back of the class on mom and dad's dime.

  • Edward Davis | May 12, 2011 12:23 PMReply

    Practice makes perfect. :)

  • Robin Colcord | May 12, 2011 12:20 PMReply

    Look, you guys try way too hard. Simple as that.

  • Ken | May 12, 2011 11:20 AMReply

    anyone else have a big ass ad blocking most of the video? what the hell?

  • Edward Davis | May 12, 2011 10:42 AMReply

    Dude, whoa, chill. It's a full on humor piece. See a therapist.

  • Robin Colcord | May 12, 2011 10:38 AMReply

    WOULD IT KILL YOU GUYS TO STOP WRITING IN SUCH A SMARMY, PRECIOUS, COMPLETELY-FULL-OF-HORSESHIT STYLE?

    I APPRECIATE THE UPDATES, BUT THE WRITING AND THE PERSONALITIES THAT ARE PUT FORTH HERE GIVE ME PAUSE EACH AND EVERY DAY I COME BACK FOR A VISIT.

    FUCK.

  • Edward Davis | May 12, 2011 10:26 AMReply

    Guy, show some respect, I just figured out THE TREE OF LIFE.

    THIS IS WHY TERRENCE MALICK IS SO EMMMMMMMO!

  • jimmiescoffee | May 12, 2011 10:25 AMReply

    seems like an alright guy to me. what do you want him to do play with a doll house?

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