Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Tree of Life - The Most Intellectually and Artistically Satisfying Film of the 21st Century

I was blown away by Terence Malick's "The Tree of Life." I'm sure I'll watch it again. Parts of it were hard to look at; certain images are still with me; and I've bought the soundtrack cd and have listened to it many times. It functions, for me, as a paradigm through which to view the world.

Alan Stone revisits it in this  month's Boston Review. "The film is not easy entertainment, but for those who welcome an encounter with a brilliant, uncompromising mind and are willing to embrace a dazzling cascade of unexpected images, The Tree of Life is enthralling. It is the most intellectually and artistically ambitious film of the 21st century."

"The music lifts your soul and sends chills down your spine—and the images carry the creative trajectory. " Yup. That's my experience.

Malick the filmmaker is also a philosopher. "He studied at Harvard with philosopher-humanist and film theorist Stanley Cavell, went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, translated a volume of Heidegger, taught philosophy at M.I.T. before deciding he was not a very good teacher, became a journalist, rewrote screenplays, and eventually became a filmmaker."

And this movie is about God, and the presence of God. Stone says it even conveys the presence of God to nonbelievers. It's also about evil, and the problem re. God it causes.

Very few movies have affected me as has The Tree of Life. It burns deep in my soul. God speaks to me through it.