fiercehairdo -> RE: Terrible - It's "Depth" is entirely bogus. (9/1/2012 10:45:25 AM)
Read some other reviews of this film. They nearly all identify a clear religious theme. And many clearly identify the end beach scene as a vision of some kind of afterlife/eternity/metaphysical vision.
Which people? I'm honestly asking for explanation for how it is since it all seems to allude to his memories in the 50s rather than afterlife. Everyone is in the age of their were in the 50s. Some 60% of the film is about Penn being haunted by his memories of the 50s. How is it not a reconciliation? Will you please offer your explanation, cause you still haven't.
Also, NOT A BEACH
(Plus, most explanations I've seen lead to the idea of reconciliation, I've seen the idea of heaven but they were all too simplistic)
You cling to your idea that it isn't religious all you like but you will be in a very small minority of people missing the bleeding obvious. Near the end there is a scene where the mother, caressed by angelic females, bathed in heavenly light, offers to "give her [dead] son to you" (i.e. God or some God like being).
If that doesn't strike you as religious then I guess we ain't ever gonna see eye to eye on this one.
Actually you're right, it can be very religious but I can't see it as just Christian. It is religious but that idea is hardly just Christian. Also, you still have a big majority dealing with childhood and a duality which is not merely Christian, it goes back to Chinese Philosophy or Taoism. I don't even think that is a Christian but mostly a Far Eastern one. Also, God-like being is hardly religious, it's going for much more specific. Of course, it could be referring You could say that Malick is Christian but then I could say that he is a Philosophy Graduate from Harvard who focused his studies on Heidegger. Also, could you point me on how they are angels? I've told you that one of them ISN'T an angel yet you seem to have ignored that, unless of course it isn't the girl young O'Brien is following but it looked a hell lot like her.
I think the film's philosophy is much more syncretic (and don't forget that the Book of Job isn't just Christian, the whole thing being about the problem of evil). You could say it is totally Christian and the parents are allegorical to both natures of God, I can see that (this is actually a great interpretation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh4FS8OOn3A) and that the whole thing is about the problem of evil, I can see that, it would definitely work that way but I wouldn't see it as just being that. The theme of the Book of Job however, is not merely Christian, A Serious Man was also deeply influenced from that book. What I loved about it, is that it felt more open than just that, death of a loved one, guilt and pondering existence is not just Christian, Job's plight was universal and I don't think God and Christ were ever mentioned, which for such a supposedly Christian film, it is odd. One thing I'm sure is that the salt lake is not heaven, too many connotations with past, present and futuristic connotations and people who are still alive, it's a memory bank represented in a heavenly manner, it is after all where he reconciles with his brother's death, but it is not even close of being a literal vision of heaven.
Also, didn't Platoon start with a quote from the Bible?[:D]
By "wannabe high brow" I meant a film that has ambitions to intellectual content but doesn't deliver. Pretty self explanatory. But since you didn't get it I'm surprised you're so bold as to call it 'moronic'.
But it isn't wannabe, Malick just wanted to do he wanted to do, hence my opposition. It was a very personal work and not just there to impress Cannes.
By "high-brow critics" I meant more intellectual critics. i.e. not Jonathan Ross. Yes, some (Kael as you mention) will be exceptions but on the whole, in general, the more 'serious', less populist, critics take him very seriously as a 'genius'. That's why his films are so anticipated. Are you really saying this isn't true? That he isn't highly rated? There is plenty of evidence to the contrary (looky here at no.5 on this list of critics best living directors: http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/page/0,11456,1082823,00.html -but they did get no.1 dead right in my view with Lynch)
And so do many filmmakers, actors and his films, while very true on being an acquired taste, have a devoted fanbase. Again, you need to define serious critics, from what I know there are good ones and bad ones. There's Rosembuam, then there's White. Also, Jonathan Ross loved Black Cat White Cat, for that he's awesome.
Finally, I simply don't accept that the use of 'over-rated' is off limits. It is a perfectly adequate way to express the feeling that someone or something is over valued beyond it's worth. There is nothing wrong with that concept. To arbitrarily declare it off limits and not to be taken seriously is plain silly. If one can express an opinion then one can also express an opinion about an opinion. "Over-rated" is a way to do that.
No it isn't, it's just saying that you didn't like it as much as others did and that others are somewhat mistaken in liking it. It's a pointless word and I loathe it.
It really isn't my job to provide you with basic research that you cant be bothered to do yourself. Again and again you ask for proof of anyone reading the film in this way, as if it was obscure mis-understanding rather than screamingly obvious message on the screen, when you could simply google it and get straight there. Your ignorance of the current debates around this film does not give weight to your argument but rather the opposite.
Nevertheless since I hate to see you squirm in your mis-conceptions here are just a couple of links that show how most commentators see the final scenes as vision of an after-life and also how most of the film was Christian in outlook.
First, The Telegraph: "A catastrophic final section sees him wandering through a discolored landscape — beach, desert, distant mountains — and stepping through wooden frames, wandering past what looks like mummified bodies, sinking to his knees. Around him mill men and women, many of them from his youth: it’s a vision of the afterlife as shot and choreographed by an expensive perfumier. It’s all Too Much, and yet Not Enough."
Second, FilmFour: "In this final spiritual chapter, characters reunite on what can only be described as a beach of souls...All of which is not conducive to feeling anything very much about these characters meeting again in heaven/purgatory/a hallucination/Neverland.
Third, The New York Times: "Mr. Malick might have been well advised to leave out the dinosaurs and the trip to the afterlife"
Fourth, Jason Solomons in the Observer: "The film flashes back to adult Jack, now wandering a salt flat, or some kind of beach, surrounded by lost souls...The dinosaurs, I can take; the souls on the beach, the hugging and the rapprochement with God, that's too much."
Fifth, Time Out: "In the film’s heavenly final scene, he gathers on a beach with a crowd of characters, including his own family as they were in the 1950s. It is then that the film will tip into an uncomfortable place for some. It feels overtly religious and even Christian (rather than just interested in the spiritual)
And there are many, many more out there (see the blog I linked to earlier), but since I'm not your paid researcher I'll leave you to continue searching. Shame you didn't do that before you came on line boldly declaring others "stupid" and "moronic".
As you can see though many people read it as some kind of afterlife on a beach (unfortunately you can't even see the beach...let alone the obvious religious allusions).
On your other points: I'm not saying that any film that quotes the bible is religious. Of course not. Just the ones that quote the bible AND depict the afterlife without irony, while playing lots of religious music AND having characters pointing at the sky saying "that's where God lives" ..those ones.
Again, I don't use "over-rated" to express my view versus another view. I use it in the context off overwhelming critical praise. It is to do with the numbers- large numbers of critics love Malick- and degrees of praise, hence I think he is over-praised in relation to his actual output. As i said before, simply declaring words off limits isn't an argument.
On the angels point, you sound like you'd only buy it if they had wings and halos! I'm not sure if one was featured earlier in the film, but either way that wouldn't rule it out anyway.To me the symbolism was so blatant that it was clear. the blog link I sent you earlier concurred also. Google is your friend to find more as I am not here to google for you.