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Tag: The Tree of Life (1-10 of 18)

Toronto: Terrence Malick's 'To the Wonder,' starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams, is gorgeously mystical, but too much of it is the twee of life

Terrence Malick made two marvelous movies in the ’70s, Badlands (1973) and Days of Heaven (1978), and partly because he then pulled a Garbo and didn’t direct another movie for 20 years, he developed a highly rarefied fan base that became a cult of reverence. To be a Malick appreciator meant that you placed him in a very special ’70s-art showcase. He was a pantheon of one. And when he returned as a filmmaker in the late ’90s, with the mystical war movie The Thin Red Line (1998), the mystical anthro-kitsch culture-clash love story The New World (2005), and then — to me — the mystical masterpiece The Tree of Life (2011), he’d become a very different kind of filmmaker. In many ways, his mature style — ethereal, incantatory, with a soundtrack woven out of whispers and classical music — seemed as much of a response to his cult as the cult was to him. READ FULL STORY

Oscars 2012 Behind the Scenes: 'Tree of Life' special effects master Douglas Trumbull talks CGI -- VIDEO

Each year, the Oscars recognize A-list talent we regularly see on screen, on the red carpet, and in tabloids. But the Academy Awards also reward those who work behind the scenes: the writers, editors, costume designers, and others who help create trophy-worthy movie magic. This Oscars season, we’ll be toasting those off-screen artists by delving into the hidden secrets that helped create the on-screen magic that we — and the Academy — fell in love with. For more access backstage during this Oscars season, click here for’s Oscars Behind the Scenes coverage.

As the Visual Effects Consultant on Tree of Life, Douglas Trumbull knew he had to be completely inimitable in his special effects. By using a cornucopia of innovative methods (liquids, cloud tanks, and paint, to name a few) the amateur astronomist was able to create a completely astounding work of art within the film, and subsequently earn a nomination for Best Cinematography. Below, watch as Trumbull explains his openness to combine his love of “organic effects” with CGI to simulate an environment where astounding special effects could occur. READ FULL STORY

Oscars to honor visual effects master Douglas Trumbull with Gordon E. Sawyer Award

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that it will present Douglas Trumbull with the Gordon E. Sawyer Award for his body of work and technical innovation in cinematic visual effects. Before spearheading the stunning, 20-minute opening act to 2011’s Tree of Life, Trumbull’s prestigious career spanned groundbreaking work films on films including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Blade Runner. It’s the second Oscar for Trumbull, who shared a Scientific and Engineering Award with three others in 1993 when he developed the first modern 65mm camera in 25 years. He has been a technical vanguard in the field, securing more than a dozen patents in film technology and founding Future General Corporation, a breeding ground for filmmakers and visual effects artists. The presentation will occur at Feb. 11th’s Scientific and Technical Awards.

Read more:
Those amazing effects in ‘The Tree of Life’? Not everything was CGI — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Tree of Life,’ ‘Transformers’ make Oscar VFX short list
‘2001’ in 2008: A Cinematic Odyssey

'My Week With Marilyn', 'Tinker Tailor' lead BAFTA longlists

With 16 inclusions each, My Week With Marilyn and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy are leading the pack in the longlists for the 2012 British Academy Film Awards, which were announced today. In addition to making the cut for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, both films have their stars in contention. (Marilyn‘s Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne, Judi Dench, and Zoe Wanamaker, as well as Tinker Tailor‘s Gary Oldman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, John Hurt, and Kathy Burke, are all on the acting longlists.)

Following Marilyn and Tinker Tailor for the most entries on the BAFTA longlists were The Iron Lady (14), The Artist, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Midnight in Paris, War Horse (13 each),  The Help, Hugo, Drive (12 each), and The Ides of March and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 (11 each.) Notable exclusions from the BAFTA longlist include Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Melancholia, and Martha Marcy May Marlene, while major Oscar contender The Tree of Life earned just one mention in the cinematography category.

The longlist kicks off the first round of voting for the BAFTAs, which includes 15 entries in most categories. The five nominees will be chosen from these longlists in the second round. However, there are only five for animation and documentary in the first round of voting.  Nominations in all categories, including the shortlist for the Rising Star Award, will be announced on Jan. 17. Check out the entire BAFTAs 2012 longlist, including Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, Documentary, Foreign Language Film, and Outstanding British Film here.  (Note: * marks  the five chapter picks.) READ FULL STORY

Those amazing effects in 'The Tree of Life'? Not everything was CGI -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

If you know anything about The Tree of Life, you’ve likely at least heard about the wordless, 20-minute opening act that chronicles nothing less than the creation and formation of the universe — and ends with a scene featuring dinosaurs. To help him achieve this sequence, writer-director Terrence Malick turned to one of the giants of cinema visual effects, Douglas Trumbull, who worked on the groundbreaking, eye-popping visuals of such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Blade Runner.

Trumbull had spent 30 years away from Hollywood, but Malick was able to cajole him to return to work on the film after the two bonded over the use of what Trumbull calls “organic effects.” Now that The Tree of Life has made the nominee short list for the Academy Award for visual effects, Fox Searchlight has put together a “for your consideration” vignette featuring many of the stunning visuals from The Tree of Life, with Trumbull discussing how he achieved them, and Malick’s overarching philosophy behind them. You can check it out below:  READ FULL STORY

'Harry Potter,' 'Tree of Life,' 'Transformers' make Oscar VFX short list


The final 10 contenders for the Oscar for Visual Effects were announced by the Academy today, winnowing the total films from the 15 semi-finalists announced last month.

Left off the short list: Cowboys & Aliens, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows; Sucker Punch; Super 8; and Thor.

Check out the ten films that made the cut below:  READ FULL STORY

'The Descendants' takes top prize at 2011 Satellite Awards

The International Press Academy handed out its 16th annual Satellite Awards last night. While The Descendants may have won the Best Motion Picture and Adapted Screenplay, it was Drive that was the biggest winner of all. The ambient indie took home four awards, including the Best Actor trophy for Ryan Gosling and Best Director for Nicolas Winding Refn. Elsewhere, awards-season frontrunner The Artist turned in a relatively modest performance with only one award for Best Art Direction & Production Design. See the full list below. READ FULL STORY

Houston critics honor 'The Descendants,' Toronto prefers 'Tree of Life'

The Toronto Film Critics Association and the Houston Film Critics Society unveiled their choices for the year’s best films — and didn’t agree on anything. The Toronto critics honored Terrence Malick for Best Director and his The Tree of Life won Best Picture. Michael Shannon (Take Shelter) won Best Actor, Michelle Williams was named Best Actress (My Week With Marilyn), and Christopher Plummer (Beginners) and Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter) were honored for their supporting turns.

The Houston critics preferred Alexander Payne’s The Descendants for Best Picture. Drive‘s auteur Nicholas Winding Refn topped Payne, though, for Best Director. Michael Fassbender (Shame) won Best Actor, Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin) was named Best Actress, and Albert Brooks (Drive) and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) won in the supporting categories.

For a complete list of winners, click below: READ FULL STORY

AFI Top 10: 'Dragon Tattoo,' 'Bridesmaids' in; 'Extremely Loud' out

The American Film Institute has announced its annual list of the 10 best U.S. releases, which last year predicted nine of the eventual 10 Best Picture nominees. On the list this time are nine expected contenders: The Descendants, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Help, J. Edgar, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and War Horse. But the AFI also included one very interesting dark horse: Bridesmaids. Missing from the top 10: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Beginners, Drive, The Ides of March, and Young Adult. UPDATE: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was eligible but the AFI committee decided to give the entire Potter series a special award instead.  READ FULL STORY

Academy announces visual effects semifinalists

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the 15 films that will compete for the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Check out the list below:

Captain America: The First Avenger
Cowboys & Aliens
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Mission Impossible — Ghost Protocol
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Sucker Punch
Super 8
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
The Tree of Life
X-Men: First Class

This list will get narrowed down to 10 next month, and five will eventually be nominated for the Academy Award on Jan. 24. I don’t envy the people who have to choose the top five — as far as the effects are concerned, there’s not a clunker in the bunch. Will the visual effects branch just go for blockbusters like Harry Potter and X-Men, or will they make room for art-house entries like Hugo and Tree of Life? We’ll find out in the coming weeks.

Dave on Twitter: @davekarger

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