30 May 2011
23 May 2011
Despite his reputation as a perfectionist, Mr. Malick by all accounts strove for a documentary-style spontaneity on “The Tree of Life.” “It’s more found than planned,” Mr. Lubezki said. “Terry would say, don’t worry about getting a piece of dialogue or an interaction of the actors, but try to get the feeling of the first time being in a room with them.”
The mood on the set matched the subject of the film: a heightened alertness to the world. “When you’re shooting with Terry, everybody’s very aware of their surroundings,” Mr. Lubezki said. With their birdsong soundtracks and their signature images of nature and the elements — light through treetops, windblown grass, flowing water — Mr. Malick’s movies are both more concrete and more abstract than most. They pay close attention to the sensual materiality of flora and fauna, places and things (“Tree of Life” locations include the California redwood forest and the Utah salt flats), but they also seek “to put emotions on film,” Mr. Lubezki said, “which is something there’s no manual for.”
It can be hard for actors to find their place within the willful, perpetual flux of a Malick production — some members of the large ensemble of "The Thin Red Line" were unexpectedly sidelined, or even eliminated.
“Actually, he’s an imperfectionist,” Mr. Pitt said of Mr. Malick, speaking in an interview at the Carlton Hotel here. “He finds perfection in imperfection, and he’s always trying to create the imperfection.” He added that working with Mr. Malick was “liberating but exhausting,” a rare opportunity to fulfill what he called “this actor’s quest of always trying to be in the moment, which is a bit precious but very true.”
Mr. Malick often calls for his actors not to create a character so much as embody a concept or a feeling. Ms. Chastain said that her audition consisted mainly of “acting out behaviors, like putting a baby to sleep or looking at someone with love and respect.”
Glenn Kenny's rave review here
I saw this amazing film/installation at the Denver Art Museum. It was mysterious, beautiful, moving -- a very profound and fascinating work that works on many levels simultaneously. It draws you into a world of nightmare and dreams in a way that even the most skilfull surrealist work rarely does.
All images by Stacey Steers
20 May 2011
viaBritannica: You’re a singer, songwriter, poet, disk jockey, television host, prose writer, spoken-word performer, actor, publisher—and, as we’ve said, traveler, and probably I’m leaving something out of even that long list. For the budding Henry and Henrietta Rollinses in the audience, what’s the secret of your productivity?Henry Rollins: I am angry and curious. These two things propel me forward. I come from the minimum-wage working world. I have no illusions as to where I should have ended up. I have really nothing to lose, and so I go.
“When you first get married, you have a relationship that’s so important to you, and you’re working on it together,” he explains in one routine, which he performed while he was still married. “But then you have a kid. And you look at the kid and you go, ‘Holy shit, this is my child! She has my DNA, my name. I would die for her.’” He takes a short, killer pause. “And you look at your spouse and you go, ‘Who the fuck are you? You’re a stranger. Why do I take shit from you?’”
19 May 2011
"In the end, like in Stardust Memories, we all get flushed. The beautiful ones, the accomplished ones, the Einsteins, the Shakespeares, the homeless guys in the street with the wine bottles, all end up in the same grave. So, I have a very dim view of things, but I think about them, and I do feel that I've come to the conclusion that the artist can not justify life or come up with a cogent reason as to why life is meaningful, but the artist can provide you with a cold glass of water on a hot day," - Woody Allen.
18 May 2011
Les Allemands avaient Schiller, Goethe, Beethoven, les Simbas du Congo ne les avaient pas. La différence entre les Allemands héritiers d’une immense culture et les Simbas incultes, c’est que les Simbas mangeaient leurs victimes, tandis que les Allemands les transformaient en savon. Ce besoin de propreté, c’est la culture.
Romain Gary, La Danse de Gengis Cohn
The Germans had Schiller, Goethe, and Beethoven; the Simbas of the Congo did not have them. The difference between the Germans who inherited a great cultural tradition and the uncultured Simbas is that the Simbas would eat their victims while the Germans would turn them into soap. This need for cleanliness is what makes for culture.
(loosely translated by me)
15 May 2011
12 May 2011
I took a few classes from her father, who remains one of the best instructors I ever had. Rumors circulated about his daughter's suicide and her photographs, then mostly unknown.
It was, even then, the worst fate you could imagine for a parent. For someone, like him, who owned a refinement far beyond my peasant nature, it must have been excrutiatingly horrible (not that it's the sort of tragedy that requires sensitivity to feel). In many ways, his sensibility shaped hers. She had already taken it past him by the time she was in art school, and I think, leading to echos in his own photography later.
For him, too, there was a Persephone/Euridice element to the story that may have ruined a life and haunts me now.
10 May 2011
why do you grieve because of a mortal father?
How long does a building stand before it falls?
How long does a contract last? How long will brothers
share the inheritance before they quarrel?
How long does hatred, for that matter, last?
Time after time the river has risen and flooded.
The insect leaves the cocoon to live but a minute.
How long is the eye able to look at the sun?
From the very beginning nothing at all has lasted.
See how the dead and the sleeping resemble each other.
Seen together, they are the imaged of death.
The simple man and the ruler resemble each other.
The face of one will darken like that of the other.
The Annunaki gathered in assembly:
Mammetum, Mother Goddess, she was with them.
There they established that there is life and death.
The day of death is set, though not made known.
Gilgamesh, translated by David Ferry
The epic dates from about 3000 BC and was inscribed on tablets.
Its theme is the mortality of man.
Nothing changes very much.