Kurosawa has definitely fallen out of favor.
Baa baa Malick sheep, no way Tree of Life should be that high
I think it should. It won’t get worn out by time in decades to come.
I have very mixed feelings on Tree of Life, but I have no doubt that it will endure and that there is an audience for it.
The Tree of Life isn’t even Malick’s best film, let alone one of the best films of all time.
When I first watched Tree of Life I loved it, but thought either Days of Heaven or Thin Red Line was still Malick’s best. Personally, Tree of Life has grown on me more and has deeply moved me more than any movie in recent memory.
I think it is his best. What do you think is his finest hour, Mov?
Well I voted for Tree of Life and stand by it.
Was a little surprised to see not a single musical make the list. Matter of fact only Singin’ in the Rain got three votes and none of the 5 or 4 vote films were musicals. This means I must generally assume that everyone on MUBI apparently hates musicals. I guess Jazz was right about our bias towards comedies and musicals.
Singing in the Rain got three votes? I’m not sure if it’s anywhere near a top ten excluding comedie/musicals, but it is fantastic in so many ways. If I found out I was going to die in the next 24 hours, Singing of the Rain would be one of the three movies I’d watch before killing over.
“Baa baa Malick sheep”
Aw, don’t be a nattering nabob of negativism, Uli.
I, a huge Malick fan, quite like The Tree of Life.
With that in mind, it is probably his weakest film (though To the Wonder sounds to be contentious, so who knows?). For my money Days of Heaven is one of the greatest films ever made, and The Thin Red Line is probably the greatest war film. Hell, Badlands and The New World are masterpieces, too.
I suppose I’d probably go with The Thin Red Line as Malick’s best; although, Badlands is a personal favorite of mine. Thin Red Line definitely presupposes everything Malick has done since, which is why I’d put it ahead of The Tree of Life. Besides, to me Tree of Life seems cliched in an awful lot of ways, as if Malick had gone from philosopher to astrologer, relying too much on mumbo jumbo. I think Tree of Life is a good film, but it just doesn’t hold up like Malick’s earlier films. I’m worried whether his newfound workaholic attitude is gonna result in more not-quite-great-but-pretty-good films, even though I’ve heard some good things about his new one.
I think The New World is his weakest, but damn it is gorgeous and I still enjoyed it quite a bit.
I gotta agree with that. Still, have you seen the extended director’s cut? I think it adds a great deal to the original film, far surpassing the theatrical release.
The director’s cut of which one? The New World?
I can’t handle another Tree of Life reaction from the less open-minded masses. The tossing of the word “pretentious” last year made my head want to BOOM. I have high hopes for anything the guy has in store for the future.
Yeah, New World.
I didn’t find Tree of Life pretentious. If anything, I found it a bit silly at times.
I’m plenty open-minded and there were things about Tree of Life that were beautiful, but the amount of nipple sucking that has gone on about the film is ludicrous.
I’m not saying that anybody who didn’t like it is close minded, but most of the people who didn’t like it and voiced their opinions did come across as close minded last year. More people with crappy complaints stood up instead of those with good arguements as to why it was lame. And there are people who have made a good case.
I did find it silly at points. Like that half-second shot of Chastain floating in the air.
I like Malick a lot as it seems most reasonable people out there do, but I wonder if the direction Malick should be heading in is “less structured”. All of his films have a poetic, free-form quality to them of course, but for my money this element of Malick is at its best contrasting against a narrative shell “of some kind”. The Thin Red Line is a great example of something that is “loose” but maintains an exoskeleton of sorts.
I think Tree of Life pushed it further down that “free-form” path which was fine, I think the film is decent if not really solid, but for someone already so naturally poetic and lucid like Malick, I find he benefits greatly from structure, kind of like how Miyazaki’s best stuff (imo) is his “least” fantastic. Whatever you want to call “that” principle, I believe it applies in this case.
If I was gonna include a musical, I’d have to go with Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964).
Confession- The Tree of Life is the only Malick film I’ve seen. Where do you guys recommend I go next? I know Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line are on Netflix Instant.
Go back and watch Badlands next.
Then watch both of those. Today.
I think Badlands and then going in order seems like a solid strategy, although Badlands is likely going to go criterion blu-ray here at some point in the next decade or so, I’m desperately holding out on my 3rd viewing…
Criterion’s BD of The Thin Red Line is truly a wonder to behold, so i’ll recommend that one next if not Badlands.
I think The New World is his best, it’s an excellent and beautiful film, but what each voter is asked is for the TEN GREATEST FILMS EVER. That’s a (nearly impossibly) small number. I really doubt you couldn’t find 10 films greater than each Malick film, even if you’re the biggest Malick fan on earth. He’s one of the best directors working today, sure, but he has no business on a list like this…yet.
Days of Heaven is a well-shot film, it looks like a million bucks, and is a masterpiece of cinematography, evoking time, place and atmosphere with its look. Which is why it’s such a shame that it fails in almost every other category. Boring script, which is effectively a daytime soap without the cheesy fun of melodrama (or any emotion, really). The actors are pretty terrible and unconvincing, it’s impossible to really identify with any character, maybe slightly with the ‘antagonist’ because of how boring and lifeless Gere is. And that voiceover, sure it’s subjective but that girl’s voice was like nails on a blackboard to me. An unpleasant, boring film, but one of the best looking films of the period, or perhaps ever.
Badlands is great – has a charm to it that Malick films tend to lack. Interesting retelling of Bonnie and Clyde mixed with the innocence and nostalgia of small town America. I really like it, and Scottie, I’d start there – for one, it’s the shortest and least demanding Malick, but probs my second favourite.
Thin Red Line is pretty great – it’s really well shot and scored, for one. How Malick cut his script is kind of bothersome – with the talent available and on location, I don’t know why you centre the film around the least interesting actor (Caviziel) and character, especially when you have Rourke and Adrien Brody cut out completely, save for effectively an extra’s role for the latter. Penn and Koteas seem to have more interesting characters as well, but are put aside for the most part. The pseudo-philosophical musings in voice-over over shots of paradise and nature are kind of eye-rolling as well. I generally abhor the term “pretentious”, but if it had to be used on any Malick film, it would be this one. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120863/quotes <— rereading some of those, especially the narration ones, is pretty cringe-worthy. But it’s better than I’m making out – a pretty great take on the war film and really great to look at (and performances are pretty stellar, despite such small roles for most of the cast). But to be considered for S&S is ridiculous.
Tree of Life is a good film, that left quite an impression on me in the cinema. But ever since, the small flaws at the time are grating on me more and more. The moment of the dinosaur showing mercy to the other dinosaur is the most stupid thing I’ve seen in a movie in a long time, and Malick’s sincerity in these silly moments, some of which have been pointed out above me, is hard to take. The ending and Penn’s character (or lack thereof) are two of the major flaws often (and rightly) pointed out. I think Pitt does a hell of a job however, though Chastain’s character is pretty dull and one-dimensional, of the suffering, angelic mother figure. The universe sequence is money though, and its ambition is to be applauded, it’s not Malick’s best film (though close, IMO), it’s not the best film of 2011 and it sure as **** isn’t the 12th best film of all time.
Interesting comments, Axelumog. I feel the exact opposite.
Tree of Life is a triumph because Malick finally forgoes structure. It was his truest film as an artist. I hope he does not revert.
However, his best is The New World. Appropriate that before breaking free, he mastered convention on his terms. The film is astoundingly beautiful, both in content and form.
Badlands and Days of Heaven, I simply do not get the love. Pretty films and the former does have a certain charm but they are both terribly thin on content. And The Thin Red Line is the reverse. A beautiful but bloated mess.
Yeah… that Dinosaur moment to me perfectly captures the kind of traps you can fall into the more you forgo ‘structure’. There is such a thing as too far, and when you are a lucid or abstract artist like a Lynch or a Malick, there are times when you really do need to ah shall we say “watch it.”
Terribly subject of course, many people who point to Mulholland and say “how is this any less indulgent than Inland Empire?” the same way people will question the difference between Tree of Life and The New World, thin lines all around I think most would agree.
Mulholland and Inland Empire are BOTH masterpieces ;)
Kinda sad to see that the latter film received just one vote.