They say that you need to suffer for your art, and film-making is no exception. In fact it is arguably more painful, as there are far more people’s salaries that need to be paid. If David Hockney buggers up a painting it is only he (and possibly a couple of assistants) who feel the cut. If the production company goes bankrupt half way through filming however there’s the possibility of hundreds of people going home without a pay check.
These are eight films that were delayed; some of the delays were caused by arduous shoots and financial problems, some were merely a tactical award-grabbing ploy from the studio involved. What these films have in common however is the amount of sleepless nights and diazepam prescriptions for the directors and producers alike.
8. The Tree Of Life
Terrence Malick is not a director famed for working at speed. This is a guy who took a twenty year break after Days of Heaven before making the seminal Thin Red Line in 1998. But even by Terrence’s standards this film was a long time coming. The iPhone was just a speck in Steve Job’s eye when the film was announced in 2005. It took another three years for shooting to start, and even then the film wasn’t realised until 2011.
But it gets worse. Rumour has it that the total life span for The Tree of Life is nearer the three decade mark, presumably spending most of this time as an incredibly abstract idea in the mind of Mr Malick before surfacing two years ago as an equally abstract and arguably even more baffling film. Initially set for release in December 2009, the film’s delays led to it missing slots at the Cannes, Venice, Toronto, and New York film festivals.
A film so long in the making by such an esteemed director was always going to struggle to live up to expectations. When the time came however, Malick delivered what everyone expected – an incredibly divisive visual masterpiece.
This article was first posted on July 20, 2013