June 17, 2011

Italian theater accidentally improves "Tree of Life"

Terrence Malick's movie The Tree of Life begins and ends boringly, but is pretty good (if plotless) in the middle. A movie theatre in Bologna, Italy managed to get the reels of film in the wrong order and showed a jumbled up version for nine nights in a row, to no complaints and, indeed, to applause from ticket-buyers (which it didn't get from the audience at the correctly ordered version I saw). I can well imagine that this version was a more enjoyable viewing experience than the one Malick picked.

It's not like the notorious critic's screening of Death Wish IV where the reels were shown out of order, so a character decapitated in one reel was looking hale and hearty in a later one. Much the same thing happens in Pulp Fiction, of course, but Tarantino has enough panache to make you wonder what transcendent reason there is for John Travolta to resurrect, other than that the film was pretty dull when Travolta wasn't on screen

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The bit about Pulp Fiction is one of Steve's sillier comments. Tarantino's use of a jumbled time scheme is brilliant, and Travolta, good though he is in that film, doesn't carry it by any means.

Garland said...

My favorite part is when Bruce Willis is talking to his girlfriend in bed for twenty minutes. Riveting.

Kylie said...

Kiss, Kiss, Big Bang, Big Bang?

Judging by the trailer, that would be an improvement.

James said...

How about a link to the story?

Anonymous said...

Perfect metaphor of how Italians manage to mess everything up but still manage to make things work somehow.

QT Fan said...

In Pulp Fiction it's important for Travolta's death to come when it does in the movie for two major reasons:

1) When Sam Jackson makes a choice to give up the criminal life at the end of the movie and Travolta doesn't, we know that he's now on a path leading to his death.

2) In the first and third sections of the movie, Travolta's character thinks he's the star. But the middle part suggests that he's just an extra in someone else's story. That gets to the heart of what Tarantino is usually making movies about: the idea that people nowadays build their identities out of pop culture junk - seeing themselves as heroes of a crime movie or a war story, etc.

Anonymous said...

For movie lovers.

Highly recommended:

http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Castle-of-Sand/70049044

Kylie said...

"For movie lovers.

Highly recommended:

http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Castle-of-Sand/70049044"


Looks good, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Canon and anti-canon.

http://www.paulschrader.org/articles/pdf/2006-FilmComment_Schrader.pdf

http://www.paulschrader.org/writings.html

David said...

Cannes showed Hitchcock's "Notorious" out of order in '46. I go to film festivals in America and the projection problems are disheartening - far worse, it seems, than experienced in most professional theatres. The average projectionist at a film festival is a mere kid who is handed a sheet of instructions on how to turn off and on the extremely cheap DVD player/digi projector, and a stack of scratched, neglected, and sloppily organized DVDs. Good luck if you're a viewer or filmmaker.