After Terrence Malick shot a huge amount of footage for the bits of The Tree Of Life that went into Earth’s past and the natural world, it was revealed it was working on a documentary, based around that footage. As it’s Malick’s way, it’s taken him a while to put it together, but a 45-minute version debuted earlier this year (narrated by Brad Pitt), which will be getting an IMAX release later this year.
There’s also a 90-minute version, with a voiceover by Cate Blanchett, which has just debuted a beautiful and slightly hallucinatory new trailer.
Here’s the synopsis: ‘The unfolding of the universe takes place before your eyes, in this experience for the senses, mind and soul. A labor of passion by director Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life), Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey is an exploration into our planetary past and a search for humanity’s place in the future. Humming with the energy of nature itself, the film melds innovative special effects with awe-inspiring footage from around the globe, in search of what lasts, what endures through time’s changing scenes.
‘What does it mean, after all those eons, to be us, here, now?
‘The action traces the scientific chronology of earth, from the birth of the stars to the explosion of new life, to the planet-altering debut of humankind. Malick invites audiences to probe past, present and future in intimate ways. Working with a team of scientific advisors and visual effects artists led by Dan Glass (The Tree of Life, Batman Begins, The Matrix Reloaded) the film shows an array of never-witnessed natural phenomena – celestial and terrestrial, macroscopic and microscopic – in a variety of new ways. The fierce geology of the early planet. The first cells, growing, dividing, exploring every niche open to them. The coming of fish, forests, dinosaurs and our own species with its need to reckon with everything – all this transforms into a hymn to nature, life and the universe. No two people will have the same experience.’