April 29, 2011

In Context: Terrence Malick & The Tree of Life @ the Walker

Brad Pitt in The Tree of Life (image courtesy Fox Searchlight)
In Context: Terrence Malick
May 13–June 1, Walker Art Center

Press Release:
"The area premiere of Terrence Malick’s new, heavily anticipated film, The Tree of Life, follows a rare, complete retrospective of the work of this extraordinary filmmaker. 

With uncompromising, unparalleled vision, Malick makes films of breathtaking panoramic vistas, sweeping soundscapes, masterful voice-over narration, and exquisite silences. A former Rhodes Scholar who studied philosophy and worked in journalism before turning to film, he made his first, the landmark Badlands, in 1973 at the age of 29. That year, the New York Film Festival opened with François Truffaut’s Day for Night and closed with Badlands—bookending the program by saluting the European master and announcing the arrival of a great new talent. Since this auspicious beginning, Malick has made just five films during his career and is notoriously silent about the work that he takes years to perfect, leaving interpretation up to the audience. Viewing his complete body of work, on majestic 35mm film, offers nothing less than a revelatory cinematic experience." 

All films are written and directed by Terrence Malick and are screened in the Cinema. Cinephile’s Pass: See all four retrospective films (excluding The Tree of Life) for the price of 3 for $24 ($18). Tickets for all shows on sale now.

Friday, May 13, 7:30 pm
“Terrence Malick’s cool, sometimes brilliant, always ferociously American film.” —New York Times

In one of the greatest ever directorial debuts, Malick takes on the real-life story of 19-year-old Charles Starkweather, who with his girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, cut a swath of violence throughout the Midwest in the late 1950s, killing 11 people. Starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek. Selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. 1973, 35mm, 94 minutes.

Sunday, May 15, 3:00 pm
Days of Heaven
“Hauntingly beautiful in image, sound and rhythm, unashamedly poetic, brimming with sweetness and bitterness, darkness and light.” —Newsweek

In the 1916 Texas Panhandle, three migrant workers travel from inner city Chicago to harvest wheat for a wealthy Texas farmer. What begins as a scheme for Bill and his lover, Abby, to con the sickly aristocrat out of his fortune takes a surprising turn. Starring Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, and Sam Shepard. 1978, 35mm, 94 minutes.

Friday, May 20, 7:30 pm
The Thin Red Line
“A masterpiece … a powerfully written, superbly acted story that casts new light on [Malick’s] characteristic themes of nature and culture, thought and language, humanity and inhumanity, paradise lost and transcendence found.” —David Sterritt

Based on James Jones’ autobiographical novel about the 1942 conflict in Guadalcanal, this meditative, free-associative war opus explores man’s combative relationship to nature. With Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, Jim Caviezel, and a host of other notable actors. 1998, 35mm, 171 minutes.

Saturday, May 21, 7:30 pm
The New World
“American history is transformed into a dream-vision of savagery and grace by Terrence Malick in his humid story of colonial settlers on the Virginian coast in 1608.” —Guardian

Malick’s retelling of the English settlers at Jamestown under Captain Newport along with Captain John Smith encountering Pocahontas is mythic, tragic, and rapturously beautiful. With Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer, and Q’orianka Kilcher. 2005, 35mm, 135 minutes.

Wednesday, June 1, 7:30 pm
The Tree of Life
Tickets: $12 ($10 members and students with valid ID).

Sean Penn and Brad Pitt star in Malick’s long-awaited new film. Spanning decades, it opens with 11-year-old Midwestern Jack’s shifting allegiances between his parents. As he ages, he realizes that family is just one way we become aware of the world and our place in it. 2011, 35mm, 138 minutes.

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