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Jessica Chastain on Malick and Seeing The Tree of Life: "You Can't Help But Be Changed"

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood May 9, 2011 at 6:00AM

We recently featured Jessica Chastain as one of our Four Rising Stars of 2011, and the world will soon discover why. The premiere of Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life (May 16 at Cannes) will kick off a series of high profile projects, from Al Pacino's Wilde Salome (premiering at the Venice Film Festival this September) to this summer's The Help (August 12). The Independent spoke with the actress about working with Malick (she's a big fan) and the effect of his long-awaited film: "I think you see [The Tree of Life] and you can't help but be changed, and you can't help but think about your life and your relationship with your family, and nature, and some kind of spiritual being – it's really special."
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Thompson on Hollywood


We recently featured Jessica Chastain as one of our Four Rising Stars of 2011, and the world will soon discover why. The premiere of Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life (May 16 at Cannes) will kick off a series of high profile projects, from Al Pacino's Wilde Salome (premiering at the Venice Film Festival this September) to this summer's The Help (August 12). The Independent spoke with the actress about working with Malick (she's a big fan) and the effect of his long-awaited film: "I think you see [The Tree of Life] and you can't help but be changed, and you can't help but think about your life and your relationship with your family, and nature, and some kind of spiritual being – it's really special."

Chastain on how Malick creates memory on film:

"The beautiful thing about Terry is that he captures memory in a way that I've never seen before, like if you want to show a life and something happening, generally you'll see a flashback and it's a scene. With Terrence, instead of a scene it'll be an image, the perfect image, it's captured in a way where he makes the perfect film. It's hard to explain, but in The Tree of Life he has created a lifetime, this journey without big long scenes. I'm a big Terrence Malick fan."

This article is related to: Directors, Festivals, Genres, Headliners, Independents, Interviews , Media, Cannes, Drama


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.