Finding answers to 'Life's' questions

A big thanks to Deadline Hollywood for the swell Variety plug this week — sort of.

On Tuesday, Mel Gibson flew into Cannes for less than 24 hours to push “The Beaver.” His presence inpired the DH headline “Exclusive: Mel Gibson Finally Talks.” In fact, the press-shy Mr. Gibson did give one interview to a U.S. publication in Cannes — and that was to Variety. (And let us quickly point out to you shameless readers, he spoke only of his work. TMZ does an excellent job at what they do, but that’s not what we do.)

But back to DH: They got the headline right, but they neglected to mention Variety. Possibly because they weren’t talking about us.

It turns out DH’s “exclusive” was a link to an April 18 interview he did with Allison Hope Weiner. Still, when the Cannes Festival is on, and 4,000 other reporters are trying to get stories, it’s pretty hard to get anything exclusive. And a flashy headline can at least drive Web traffic and lead people into thinking something special happened — even if it didn’t happen and was a month ago.

So now that Variety landed the biggest single interview of the fest, can we expect DH to write another “Exclusive: Mel Gibson finally speaks again!” headline?

Ah well. C’est la vie, c’est la guerre, c’est la blogo-monde.

And speaking of Cannes, is every showbiz blogger in the south of France? You’d think so from the fact everybody wanted to weigh in on Lars von Trier.

At a Wednesday press confab for “Melancholia,” the always-eager-to-shock helmer said he’d thought he was a Jew but discovered his family was German Nazi. “I understand Hitler … I sympathize with him a bit.” Well, when someone is that eager for publicity, of course bloggers will oblige by taking him seriously.

‘Life’s’ questions

There’s nothing like the Cannes Festival to take hard-bitten reviewers of “Fast Five” and “Thor” and turn them into confused divinity students as they wrestle with a new work from auteurist-cum-obscurantist filmmaker such as Terrence Malick, whose “The Tree of Life” preemed on the Croisette.

Indiewire.com helpfully cobbled together three takes on “Tree of Life,” and if you think advanced calculus is headache-inducing, try these observations:

Drew Taylor wrote: “‘The Tree of Life’ is a cosmic tone poem, an ode to the violence that shapes us both domestic and galactic, so it’s sort of strange that, for a movie this freely imaginative, something as simple and pedestrian as structure proves to be its ultimate undoing.” Taylor also notes the film’s plot contains “exactly the same conceit behind Disney’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.'” We just report ‘em, we don’t explain ‘em!

Rodrigo Perez said the film works “like a cosmic hymnal, there are long stretches of only stunning celestial imagery and grand operatic music that harkens back to the creation of all things, but even then, there’s always a whispering voiceover imploring the universe for answers.”

Leah Zak had questions of her own and saw the film as “part ‘Nova’ special and part collective memory, as it looks under every rug for the answer to where we came from. Birth, death, mother, God, nature, nurture, are we simply the cells that, in a 1-in-a-billion chance came together in that first muck of the earth or are we these uniquely beautiful, albeit complicated rocks, molded by the erosion of experience?”

If you have the answer, please contact the Blogdogger immediately! Right now, we’re feeling very rock-like as we try to figure what “Tree of Life” is about.

Related: EXCLUSIVE: Mel Gibson interview (Video)

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