Terrence Malick To Offer A 6 Hour Cut Of The Tree Of Life

Opinion has been divided so far on the merits of Terrence Malick‘s latest contribution to cinema, The Tree of Life. Many people call it masterpiece and just as many call it garbage. Very few fall in between. What should please fans of the film and fans of long haul movies is that according to a recent interview with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, Malick is currently looking over 370 miles of footage and hoping to make a six hour cut of the film. Here’s an excerpt from the interview.

Does Malick think about editing when he’s filming ?

We speak about it almost everytime. But most of the ideas about the editing we share on the set don’t make the final cut.

We maybe have been shot 600 000 metres (around 370 miles) of film.

The first cut was 8 hours long. Terry is working on/preparing a 6 hours long version of the movie. What I’ve seen (of this) is absolutely incredible, it’s wonderful. The longer version will have to/will likely, for the most part, relate to the children part. There were outstanding things, we’ve shot many, many things about Jack’s childhood: his friends, his evolution, his changes, his awareness of the loss of his childhood. I don’t know if I’m supposed to say all of this!

I have yet to see the film but no movie should be 6 hours long, even at the currently of 138 minutes the film is said to be pushing it. Of course this is just what Malick does, his rough cut of The Thin Red Line was apparently 6 hours long before he whittled it down to just under 3. He also tinkered a lot with The New World before providing a ‘definitive’ cut on DVD which was also just under 3 hours.

Whether the 6 hour cut will add more in quality to The Tree of Life remains to be seen. What I can safely say though is that it will likely not bring in any news fans and part of me wishes Malick would do some work on his other films instead of tinkering with stuff like this.

Source: The Film Stage

About the author


Will Chadwick

Will has written for the site since October 2010, he currently studies English Literature and American Studies at the University of Birmingham in the UK. His favourite films include Goodfellas, The Shawshank Redemption and The Godfather and his favourite TV shows are Mad Men, Six Feet Under, The Simpsons and Breaking Bad.