NPR logo

The Movie Gustavo Santaolalla's 'Seen A Million Times'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/166793498/166801047" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
The Movie Gustavo Santaolalla's 'Seen A Million Times'

The Movie Gustavo Santaolalla's 'Seen A Million Times'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/166793498/166801047" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

On this program, we've been asking filmmakers about the movies they never get tired of watching, including this one from the man behind the Oscar-winning score for "Brokeback Mountain."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GUSTAVO SANTAOLALLA: My name is Gustavo Santaolalla. I'm a musician, composer, producer. The movie that I've seen a million times - but really I saw three times, but for many people probably will seem like a million times - was "The Tree of Life," directed by Terrence Malick and starring Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE TREE OF LIFE")

SANTAOLALLA: The movie starts, you know, with this story about this family in Waco, Texas, in the '50s.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE TREE OF LIFE")

SANTAOLALLA: And then, you know, we get to know this tragedy that happened, I mean, and in such a poetic way. I mean, there's really no dialogue or anything through the visuals. You absolutely realize what just had happened, you know. You can tell that one of the kids died.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE TREE OF LIFE")

SANTAOLALLA: When the mother starts talking to God...

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE TREE OF LIFE")

SANTAOLALLA: ...I was, like, totally, totally sucked in. I mean, I loved it.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE TREE OF LIFE")

SANTAOLALLA: I was raised Catholic. And this movie, there is a connection, I think, with religion and with spirituality. And there's also, I mean, the connection with the possibility of redemption, you know, with the possibility of coming to terms with yourself and with the problems that you might have had with your parents.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE TREE OF LIFE")

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE TREE OF LIFE")

SANTAOLALLA: We all, I think, in life go through those moods in which we feel inside of us that mom side and that dad side fighting, you know?

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE TREE OF LIFE")

SANTAOLALLA: I mean, I think all those things are so human and related to anybody anywhere. You know, it doesn't matter what culture are you or even, you know, what religion you believe in.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE TREE OF LIFE")

SANTAOLALLA: I have favorite scenes for different reasons. I will say, probably, I mean, the scene where they get the news about the death of their son is a tremendous, powerful scene. The whole scene, the way it's set up and, you know, first, you know, she coming in the house and getting the letter and opening the letter and suddenly reading that text and breaking down and then going (makes noise) to the sound of the airplane. I mean, that weight of that pain and the way it's translated in that scene, it really, really moved me.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SANTAOLALLA: It gives me, you know, hope. Every time that I see a movie or I'm exposed to a work of art of this magnitude, I feel regenerated. You know, I feel like I'm happy to be part of this universe, and I'm happy to be in this world. So this movie really pushed once again that concept in me.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RAZ: That's Gustavo Santaolalla talking about the movie that he could watch a million times, Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life." Santaolalla composed the score for the new film "On the Road," which hits theaters December 21.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RAZ: And you're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.