Lee Kline, the technical director at the Criterion Collection, says the upcoming Criterion release of Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” on Blu-ray may as well be a whole new film.
Previously the acclaimed boutique home video distributor brought Malick’s “The New World” to Blu-ray, that was the 172 minute director’s cut of the film which the filmmaker was always vocal about preferring to the 135-minute theatrical version.
The cut on the new release of “The Tree of Life” however, which runs 188 minutes (49 minutes longer than the theatrical), is different and much more a whole alternate version as opposed to a classic director’s cut. Kline tells Indiewire:
“Unlike with ‘New World,’ [the version of ‘The Tree of Life’] that premiered in 2011 at Cannes [was] definitely the definitive version of the film he wanted to make. What’s interesting talking to Terry about this [new version of ‘Tree of Life’], I think he still doesn’t want people to think this is a better version. This is another version.”
Malick had an enormous amount of footage he never used for the theatrical and originally planned to use it to develop a new storyline. This resulted in Criterion doing an expensive and time consuming post-production process and polish on the footage in order to match the rest of the completed film including new foley and sound effects, a new multi-track mix, and a new color grade for the entire film supervised by the original DP.
Both the original 139 minute and the new 188 minute cut of the film are on the one Blu-ray set which hits stores on Tuesday September 11th.