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Tree of Life Dinosaurs

A closer look at the stills for Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life reveals two dinosaurs.

As the new film from one of cinema’s most enigmatic directors draws nearer, there has been much talk about the trailer, if it will screen in the UK before Cannes and the whole business about the dinosaurs.

According to the film’s sales agent Summit, the barebones story is:

“the tale of a Texas boy’s journey from the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as a ‘lost soul in the modern world’, and his quest to regain meaning in life”.

Whatever, the finished result the anticipation of a Malick film starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn with Emmanuel Lubezki as DP has cineastes rightly excited.

But what is the sequence involving dinosaurs all about?

When VFX Supervisor Dan Glass gave a fairly detailed interview to Little White Lies about his work on the film, it was promptly taken down (presumably at the request of the producers and distributors) as he may have violated a non-disclosure agreement.

But traces of it remain online and he essentially confirmed that there would be dinosaurs in the film and that Malick had incorporated notes and negatives he’s been working on since the 1970s (!).

As for other details, the effects shots used “extraordinary source imagery from actual probes and telescopes”, some of the film was shot in IMAX, the VFX work was done to a “very high resolution” and the music and sound are reportedly “tremendous”.

Speaking of high resolution, Fox Searchlight recently released some hi-res stills from the film on their official Tumblr blog, including a shot of the dinosaur.

But look closer here and you will find another one in the frame.

In addition to all this is the stand off between UK distributor Icon and US sales agent Summit over the release date.

Icon are still insisting that they will have a press screening of the film on May 3rd, before opening on May 4th.

Obviously this would wreck the carefully laid plans of the world premiere at Cannes and the subsequent US release by Fox Searchlight.

As I write this there is still nothing about the film on their official website and it has been reported that there is some behind-the-scenes wrangling over the release with sales agent Summit saying:

“‘The information regarding the May 4th U.K. release is incorrect. Icon Film Distribution Ltd. does not have the right to distribute The Tree of Life in the U.K, as it is in default of its agreement. The matter is pending before an arbitration tribunal in Los Angeles.’

But according to another report Icon are still adamant that they are going to release it on May 4th.

The Tree of Life may (or may not) open in the UK on May 4th and will screen at the Cannes Film Festival on May 16th before opening in the US on May 27th

> Official site and Tumblr blog
> More on Terrence Malick at Wikipedia
> David Thomson profiles Malick at The Guardian


Peter Jackson Ten Years On

Lord of the Rings fan site The One Ring has posted two photos of director Peter Jackson, which show how the director has changed over the last 10 years.

On the left is a photo from June 2001, where Jackson posed on the set of Bag End with a pipe for ‘Women’s Day’ magazine from June 14th 2001.

On the right is Jackson on the set of The Hobbit, which has just started shooting in New Zealand, ten years on.

[Click here for a larger version]

> The One Ring
> The Hobbit film project at Wikipedia


Eva Braun as Al Jolson

Life magazine have unearthed new photos of Hitler’s wife Eva Braun, including one of her dressed up as Al Jolson’s character  in The Jazz Singer (1927).

The 30 photos cover most of Braun’s life, from her childhood through to her time with the fascist dictator, but it is the one of her dressed up as Jolson that can be safely filed in the folder marked ‘creepy’.

According to the magazine she was a big fan of the first major talkie and liked American movies, especially Gone with the Wind (1939).

The photos were discovered and quickly confiscated by the U.S. Army in 1945 and only recently released by collector and curator Reinhard Schulz.

You can see the full collection of photos over at

* UPDATE 11/03/11: The US National Archives are now saying that they had the photos all along *

> The Jazz Singer at All Movie Guide
> Find out more about Eva Braun at Wikipedia

Images Interesting

First image from Terrence Malick’s new film

The first image from Terrence Malick’s new film starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams has surfaced online.

It is a basic poster-type shot that has a Days of Heaven vibe to it.

[Click here for the large version]

Just to clarify, this is from his untitled 2012 film and not The Tree of Life, which is due to be released later this year.

The IMDb is currently listing this film as Untitled Terrence Malick Project, although Wikipedia seems to think it is called The Burial.

Last September Rockvill Music Magazine posted photos of a sequence featuring Olga Kurylenko that was shot in Oklahoma.

[Via Hollywood Elsewhere]

> Trailer for The Tree of Life
> IMDb entry for Untitled Terrence Malick Project

Images News

First image of Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher

The first image of Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher from the forthcoming biopic The Iron Lady has been released.

Streep is currently in London filming and it sees her reteam with director Phyllida Lloyd for the first time since Mamma Mia (2008).

The actress has said:

“I am trying to approach the role with as much zeal, fervour and attention to detail as the real Lady Thatcher possesses – I can only hope my stamina will begin to approach her own”

Written by playwright Abi Morgan, the film reportedly explores her political life through flashbacks, opening with the octagenarian Lady Thatcher reflecting on her 11 years as Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.

Amongst the events likely to be explored include the Falklands War and the Brighton bombing, along with her later years after being ousted by her own party in 1990.

Some reports have suggested that the film portrays Thatcher as an elderly dementia-sufferer looking back on her career with sadness and regret, fueling speculation in conservative newspapers that it will be a less-than-flattering look at the former Tory leader.

But Cameron McCracken, managing director of Pathé, has said that it will look at both the highs and lows of her career:

“It is true that the film is set in the recent past and that Baroness Thatcher does look back on both the triumphs and the lows of her extraordinary career. It is a film about power and the price that is paid for power. In that sense, it is the story of every person who has ever had to balance their private life with their public career.”

Jim Broadbent is playing Thatcher’s husband Dennis, whilst their young selves are played by Alexandra Roach and Harry Lloyd.

The rest of the cast includes Anthony Head as Geoffrey Howe, Richard E Grant as Michael Hesletine, Roger Allam as Gordon Reece and Olivia Colman as her daughter Carol.

The Iron Lady is a co-procution of Pathé, Film4, UK Film Council, Canal+ and Cine Cinema in associaton with Goldcrest Film and DJ Films.

Fox will release the film in the UK and footage will be screened at Cannes, where Pathe will be handling international sales.

It doesn’t have an official release date confirmed, but is scheduled to come out later this year.

> The offical blog for The Iron Lady
> IMDb entry for The Iron Lady
> Find out more about Margaret Thatcher at Wikipedia