Often, as writers, we get so hung up on linear, narrative structure that we forget that there are completely different forms of screenplay structure that can be equally moving and powerful. So for today’s podcast we’re going to take a blast to the past, and look at a film that seems to diverge in almost every way from the traditional forms of structure we’ve been talking about on this podcast: Terence Malick’s, The Tree of Life.
What makes The Tree of Life so extraordinary is the effortless way it weaves traditional linear storytelling—the story of the family– with long meditative sequences of breathtaking images of the vast beauty and wanton destructiveness of the universe. But don’t let Malick fool you, underneath the melodic rambling of The Tree of Life is a rock solid structure, which provides the drum beat for the entire film.
Click the image below to play the podcast or click here.
- More articles by Jacob Krueger
- Story Structure: The Four Act Structure
- 5 Reasons Screenplay Story Structure is Important