And on the arty side of things – Terrence Malick has been at work on an extended version of his beautiful cosmic puzzler The Tree of Life and it’s coming to the Criterion Collection later this year. ‘Variety’ reports that Malick’s 139-minute theatrical cut will get another 40 minutes, which will arrive as a part of the Criterion special edition Blu-ray and DVD release coming later this year. So what can you expect to see? Says ‘Variety’:
“It restores material that Malick was exploring for the version that was shown in Cannes, including specific events and characters that were referenced only elliptically in the original film. Audiences will get specific insights into Mr. O’Brien’s painful upbringing, meet members of Mrs. O’Brien’s extended family, and witness a major natural catastrophe that serves as a kind of centerpiece for what [Peter] Becker has been calling ‘the new version.’”
Explained Criterion president Peter Becker:
“Terry doesn’t see this as a director’s cut. It’s a fresh view of the film that has a different rhythm and a different balance. There’s a kind of cloud of myth that surrounds The Tree of Life, that somewhere there’s a long-lost five-hour cut that was never released. That’s not the case, the film that he presented in Cannes is the film that he wanted to make.”
There are no plans for theatrical distribution at the moment, but it hasn’t been ruled out. Becker says, “We’ll see what the audiences demand.”
I didn’t get to see this extraordinary film in the cinema, so for me the thought that there’s even just a slim chance of me seeing a greatly longer version of it on a big screen gets me rather excited.