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- 30/7/2011 5:18:01 AM   
tinribs27

 

Posts: 11
Joined: 30/7/2011
From: Wellington, New Zealand
Winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life was arguably the most anticipated film of this year’s festival. Indeed, anything from the famously reclusive director is always cause for celebration, given that in a career spanning 40 years, The Tree of Life is only his fifth film, and his previous works (Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The New World) are all regarded as fascinatingly original films. So, how does this new film fit into Malick’s catalogue?

It’s difficult to write about The Tree of Life after only one viewing. Malick is often cited as the cinema’s greatest example of a ‘visual poet’, and while anyone can appreciate the pretentiousness of such a claim, the label actually does seem to fit, and nowhere is it more appropriate than in a discussion of The Tree of Life. Analysing a poem can be a challenging task, with the finest examples perhaps meaning little when taken at face value, and only through line by line deconstruction can a poet’s true meaning be made evident. And challenging is a great word for describing this film. If you’ve ever seen a Malick film, little has changed in his style. Minimalist dialogue, largely in the form of fractured narration, runs parallel with highly disjointed editing (interestingly, the credits list no less than five editors), and achingly beautiful shots of nature are juxtaposed with characters looking thoughtfully off camera, into the distance. The style is jarring, yet it allows Malick the freedom to be at his most conceptual and introspective, and the result is an incredibly ambitious and uncompromising manifestation of his vision.

Many audience members may be put off by what seems to be a needlessly meandering story, the point of which is wrapped in so many layers that some may argue there is in fact no point. However, Malick’s slow and deliberate pacing does in fact peel back thes

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Post #: 151
RE: Why the Dog Made Me Give Up on Tree of Life - 31/7/2011 11:55:09 AM   
cerebusboy


Posts: 1552
Joined: 1/5/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: MMoscow

The film had already passed the two-hour mark. Not two hours of breath-taking excitment, not two hours of enthralling story-telling, it had been two hours of sporadically interesting but mainly deeply irritating cinema. Then came the scene with the dog and the puddle.

Others have complained about the extended creation scene, the dinosaurs and the absence of narrative - but for me the killer scene was the dog lapping water from a puddle. By then we were tired and bored. All we wanted to see at this point was the end credits, having long-since given up hope of the film ever amounting to anything worthwhile. Instead we got a dog lapping water from a puddle. The dog did not belong to the protaganist or any member of his family. It did not keel over or drown or water-ski (which might have justified the inclusion of this scene in the film).




Is that a royal We?

You might have a point about the dog. How dare Malick include a dog that doesn't even do tricks in a (in parts) naturalistic movie?!?!?!? Batman & Robin , in contrast, has a dog that gets frozen mid-piss by Mr Freeze, and then defrosts and starts peeing again as if nothing's happened ho ho ho! You should check it out. Might be more your speed.



(in reply to MMoscow)
Post #: 152
RE: The Tree Of Life - 1/8/2011 9:48:11 AM   
beancounter

 

Posts: 71
Joined: 30/9/2005
I finally saw The Tree of Life last night. I can see why this film has divided opinions, but I was firmly in the "I loved it" team. It helped that I had read the review and the comments before seeing the film, so I had some expectations around the form of the film. Although to call it a film is perhaps wrong - it is a cinematic experience. I'm not sure how well it will transfer to the small screen on DVD/Blu-Ray.

That said, I would love to see this again - and would love to have some sort of director's commentary on it as well. Does Mallick go in for that sort of thing?

Finally I am compelled to comment on the cast. Brad Pitt really can act. Oscar nomination anyone? I've not seen Jessica Chastain in much, but she was a stunning counterfoil to Pitt's character. And the three kids were simply outstanding. Hunter McCracken in particular is a name to watch.

One of those cinematic experiences that will stay with me for a long, long time.

_____________________________

I wish none of this had happened.
So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

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Post #: 153
RE: The Tree Of Life - 1/8/2011 12:54:04 PM   
great_badir


Posts: 4662
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: A breaking rope bridge in the middle of the jungle
quote:

ORIGINAL: beancounter
would love to have some sort of director's commentary on it as well. Does Mallick go in for that sort of thing?


...best not wait around and plan your life around the possibility...

_____________________________

FAVE FILMS
BO BOMBS

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Post #: 154
RE: The Tree Of Life - 1/8/2011 1:05:00 PM   
beancounter

 

Posts: 71
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir

quote:

ORIGINAL: beancounter
would love to have some sort of director's commentary on it as well. Does Mallick go in for that sort of thing?


...best not wait around and plan your life around the possibility...


Don't worry, I wasn't planning to

I guess I'll just have to make my own mind up as to some of the meanings behind the imagery...

_____________________________

I wish none of this had happened.
So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

(in reply to great_badir)
Post #: 155
RE: The Tree Of Life - 12/8/2011 1:52:41 PM   
Magenta


Posts: 9683
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The fuzzy end of the lollipop
I'd been so looking forward to seeing this and yet I am sorry to say I felt very let down and frankly left the cinema feeling completely nonchalant about it.
It's all very well having stunning visuals which of course I would expect from a Malick film but for me the characters did not back up and I needed more insight and more involvement to feel any empathy for them.
I think this was a very personal journey on Malick's part and there is nothing wrong with that but I needed more,more background,more story- line, more explanation.
In some ways I felt rather mocked almost as if well if you don't understand it you must be an idiot and maybe if I rewatched it again in ten years time I may "get it" but to be honest I don't need to work that hard and I don't want to be preached to which sometimes I felt it was doing.

In saying all that it was beautiful to look at and I'm pleased I saw it but for me I'll go back and watch Days Of Heaven and reminisce of the Malick that I first fell in love with.

_____________________________


“If you die first, I am definitely going to eat you, but the question is, if I die, what are you going to do? Bon appétit... Eat or die. "



(in reply to beancounter)
Post #: 156
RE: The Tree Of Life - 12/8/2011 7:21:57 PM   
Philip67

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 12/8/2011
This is perhaps the first film that I have ever felt angry at. This review thread, and those on other websites, where anyone suggestng they found the film pretentious is told to go see Transformers 3 instead, doesn't help.

I wasn't one who walked out, I found the first half an hour quite impressive, but the subsequent avalanche of seemingly unconnected events - a dog drinking from a puddle, some boys cycling in a field, etc - was utterly boring, and when combined with the earlier big bang/pre-historic interlude makes the film self-important in the extreme, unless there is a fascinating message I've missed. I possibly simply didn't "get it". If so, could someone explain to me what I didn't get? As far as I can see, the themes are are follows:

1. An examination of the nature of memory. Fine, that's interesting and I agree that we tend to remember brief snippets of events in our childhood, not whole scenes with dialogue, etc. But that's only interesting for a few minutes and belongs as a video in a museum of modern art, not a film.

2. Coming to terms with loss. As has been stated elsewhere, the questions asked on this theme are those of a 12 year old - why does god let bad things happen, etc. This theme is dealt with only at the most superficial level, from the mother's simplistic religious musings to the adult Jack's stepping through a door in a desert and hugging his young brother on a beach - we are given no context to explain how he has come to terms with the loss, making it meaningless for the viewer.

3. The way of grace v the way of nature. As stated earlier, the mother perhaps represents "grace" and the father perhaps nature. I don't see how the father represents nature. Nature is brutal, nature is survival of the fittest, nature involves the strong ganging up on and killing the weak (did that dinosaur feel empathy for the sleeping one, or was it just not hungry - we don't know, making it a meaningless scene). Scarface is a silver screen character living by the way of nature. Jack's father is not - he is a hard worker striving to improve himself and his lot in life, a humourless disciplinarian yes, but one who loves his children. Meanwhile, the meaning of living by the way of "grace" is never explained - is this just taoism, is it simply being at peace with the world around you, going where the tide takes you, loving everything? What does this really mean in practice? Living on benefits is living by the way of grace so. Personally I think the Music of Chance dealt with raging against your destiny/the tides of fate v going with the flow in a far better fashion.

4. The beauty/power of nature. Yes nature is beautful and wonderous. However, it is also ugly, brutal and cruel. What is truly extraordinary, is civilisation - humans have banded together to create lives free from nature, where the weak are equal with the strong, where the weak are protected by the community, where natural instincts, such as murder and theft, are repressed. This is far more amazing than the peacefulness of nature (which is an illusion - nature involves the strong eating the weak alive).

5. The human family unit as a microcosm for life, the universe and everything. I get what this means. It means nothing really. Yes humans are insignificant yet the death of one can be of overwhelming significane to that one's family. So what?

So essentially, is this a director exploring his own childhood experiences in Waco, and his own personal family tragedy, throwing in some very impressive but utterly cliched images of the big bang/the cosmos with opera soundtrack, and treating the audience's desire to be engaged/entertained with contempt? Would this not make it one of the most self-absorbed and self-important films of the last decade?

< Message edited by Philip67 -- 13/8/2011 12:32:32 PM >

(in reply to Magenta)
Post #: 157
RE: The Tree Of Life - 12/8/2011 8:40:48 PM   
Tech_Noir

 

Posts: 20199
Joined: 12/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Philip67

This is perhaps the first film that I have ever felt angry at.


That one line sums up my reaction.

(in reply to Philip67)
Post #: 158
RE: Why the Dog Made Me Give Up on Tree of Life - 12/8/2011 8:48:55 PM   
benskelly


Posts: 221
Joined: 28/8/2007
From: To Your Immediate Left

quote:

ORIGINAL: cerebusboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: MMoscow

The film had already passed the two-hour mark. Not two hours of breath-taking excitment, not two hours of enthralling story-telling, it had been two hours of sporadically interesting but mainly deeply irritating cinema. Then came the scene with the dog and the puddle.

Others have complained about the extended creation scene, the dinosaurs and the absence of narrative - but for me the killer scene was the dog lapping water from a puddle. By then we were tired and bored. All we wanted to see at this point was the end credits, having long-since given up hope of the film ever amounting to anything worthwhile. Instead we got a dog lapping water from a puddle. The dog did not belong to the protaganist or any member of his family. It did not keel over or drown or water-ski (which might have justified the inclusion of this scene in the film).




Is that a royal We?

You might have a point about the dog. How dare Malick include a dog that doesn't even do tricks in a (in parts) naturalistic movie?!?!?!? Batman & Robin , in contrast, has a dog that gets frozen mid-piss by Mr Freeze, and then defrosts and starts peeing again as if nothing's happened ho ho ho! You should check it out. Might be more your speed.






For the life of me, I cannot remember this "dog lapping water from a puddle". It could not have been that "extended" a scene if I have no memory of it. You might as well have said you lost interest when the dinosaur put it's foot on the other dinosaur's neck or with the shot of sunflowers. I don't argue with anyone who didn't feel anything because I think the movie either works a kind subconscious magic, gets under your skin, or it doesn't. No shame either way. But I think it is kind of pointless to focus on any one image as being relevant or not...it's the accumulation of images, and indeed the snippets of memory and family history, the weight of it all, that that when added up lead to a statement that I'm not sure I can put into words but which I honestly feel like I "got". People say the Afterlife Beach, if you will, is a trite conclusion, but I thought it was an earned emotional catharsis - there was something so wonderfully sincere and universal there.

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Post #: 159
RE: The Tree Of Life - 12/8/2011 8:55:52 PM   
benskelly


Posts: 221
Joined: 28/8/2007
From: To Your Immediate Left

quote:

ORIGINAL: Tech_Noir


quote:

ORIGINAL: Philip67

This is perhaps the first film that I have ever felt angry at.


That one line sums up my reaction.



I have been angry at LOTS of films. This isn't one of them.

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Post #: 160
RE: Why the Dog Made Me Give Up on Tree of Life - 14/8/2011 4:10:54 PM   
snazzy_sophie


Posts: 53
Joined: 21/11/2005
From: Edinburgh
This was the (brief) review I posted on my blog:

I walked into the cinema to see Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life not really knowing what to expect, mainly going through curiosity from having read raving reviews to tales of festival crowds booing.

Although the plot can be quite confusing, as well as having a longish running time with sparse dialogue (typical for a Malick feature) this was made up for by it's outstanding beauty. It was a delight to watch something so well made that simple shots of water shooting out a hose or trees blowing in the wind can seem to delightful. I did notice a few people walk out of the cinema, mainly during lengthy initial scenes of the earths formation (I was also at this point hoping that this wasn't the way the film would continue).

By the end I thought I knew what I had just watched, then after researching more when I got home I understood the plot a lot better. What I do know for certain is that after leaving the cinema and for the rest of that evening I was left feeling happy and content, in continued amazement at the visual creativity.

Although Malick does sometimes receive criticism for the number of years it takes him to release something new...when he does, he does it very well indeed!

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Post #: 161
Pseudo-philosophical Nothingness - 26/8/2011 5:14:01 PM   
frantastikid

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 26/8/2011
This has to be the most disappointing 5-star review Empire has ever written. Sure, the film's beautiful. It's absolutely stunning. But if you want to see awe-inspiring footage of the universe, go watch a documentary about it. If you want to see beautiful footage of Nature, watch David Attenborough do his thing. If, on the other hand, you feel like doing both these things while at the same time boring yourself to death for a couple of hours, 'The Tree of Life' might just be the film for you. Terence Malick obviously has aspirations of profound grandeur behind this film, but unfortunately for him and for the viewer who has to sit through the streams of pseudo-philosophical nothingness that Jessica Chastain spews out in the voice-over, these aspirations barely even scrape their desired heights, instead plummeting into the realms of pretension and bathos. In my opinion, this film's only saving grace, other than the aforementioned pretty pictures of stars, are some of the family scenes that display the tense relationship between Brad Pitt's (who gave a relatively impressive performance) character and his sons. Fans of Sean Penn beware: he has a grand total of about ten lines in the entire film, and is certainly nothing special on the acting front, which demands very little from his character. Anyway, that just about wraps up my first ever film review. I hope you enjoyed it. Francis

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Post #: 162
Divine - 16/9/2011 4:15:09 PM   
Saxsymbol

 

Posts: 12
Joined: 16/9/2011
The reviews of 'Tree' are very mixed and even on Empire's forum it certainly keeps everybody guessing about it's themes. Well, let me start by saying I really witnessed a miracle when I saw it: I didn't know such an achievement could ever be possible: For me it was totally detached form cinema or literature..it was simply art, carefully balancing on the edge of becoming 'artsy fartsy', without ever crossing that line. This movie is as much a work of art as the most beautiful modernist painting. And this film certainly can be compared to a cubist painting by Picasso. For me 'Tree' certainly was as groundbreaking as the invention of modern art by Picasso: Cubism was a way to show an object/theme from all different angles at the same time, something photography simply couldn't do. However, modern art is very interactive and you need to add your own individual feelings and imagination, look past the abstract 'mosaic' and simply 'get it'. If you don't, and you qualify a Picasso masterpiece as 'work of a child', well...your opinion won't change the fact that it's a masterpiece, you just didn't get it. Modern art isn't 'easy' to understand, hence the controversy.

Tree of Life can show you the very meaning of life: The fact that life is meaningless, just beautiful. Therefore it's no use searching for plots or themes in this film: As an adult your life is spoiled by searching for those rules to make life comprehensible. But 'Tree of Life' wants you to abandon your everyday routine and go back to your childhood when you could still enjoy life's rules instead of man-made rules parents (e.g. Brad Pitt in the movie) want you to believe are important. If you succeed, Terence Malick paints a beautiful cubist work of art that simply tries to give you a feeling, not an explanation. It has no plots, no real structure/rules, no religion, no character development, it doesn't answer questions, it's simply about existence, like the general theme: Life.

< Message edited by Saxsymbol -- 17/9/2011 12:29:44 AM >

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Post #: 163
RE: Divine - 2/11/2011 8:02:06 AM   
UTB


Posts: 9869
Joined: 30/9/2005
No religion? Did we see the same film?

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Post #: 164
RE: Divine - 2/11/2011 11:22:19 AM   
adambatman82

 

Posts: 11156
Joined: 15/12/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: UTB

No religion? Did we see the same film?


While religion literally features in the film I presume the OP meant in terms of the overall meaning of the movie. It's a film in which the protagonist needs to eschew and deny religion in order to be happy, and who only finds peace when he focuses on the family instead of the bible. It's like the opposite to Job; fuck faith, love your family.

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Post #: 165
The tree of perfection - 13/11/2011 5:10:48 PM   
introducing111

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 10/3/2011
unbelievable. not for everyone but perfect to me

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Post #: 166
RE: The tree of perfection - 14/11/2011 9:58:41 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3979
Joined: 19/10/2005
 

In the mid 1960s, Mrs O'Brien recalls a lesson taught to her that people must choose to either follow the path of grace or the path of nature.   She receives a telegram informing her of her son's death at age 19, and the family, which also consists of her husband and their two other sons Jack and Steve, is thrown into turmoil.  In the present day, Jack O'Brien is adrift in his modern life as an architect. When he sees a tree being planted in front of a building, he begins to reminisce about his life as young teenager during the 1950s.  We, however, witness the creation of the universe, Earth and life on Earth, before we switch to his childhood………


Though I certainly have my favourite genres, I'm the kind of film fan who enjoys all kinds of movies [except maybe romantic comedies].   You may find it strange that this critic,who spends the majority of his time on this site writing about either the latest Hollywood blockbusters or old horror movies, is about to rave about an impressionistic, intellectual and almost obtuse 'art house' meditation of life, death and the universe, but that is what is about to happen. The Tree Of Life is cinematic art with a capital 'A', and I think it's a truly beautiful, spiritual achievement, though I must state straight away that there is a good chance you may hate it as well as love it.  This movie seems to have divided people like few others have been able to do of recent years, with few folk seeming to be in the 'middle". I'm not going to go all snobbish like some, and say that if you do dislike the film you're an idiot. I do though think that if you can't stand it one day, if you revisit it a few months later you may have a totally different response!

The Tree Of Life doesn't even attempt to work like a 'normal' film.  For a start, it doesn't really progress as a series of scenes like most films do.  Instead, it consists mainly of montages and fragments of scenes, in the way memory does, edited in as strange a way as possible. For most of its length, it seems to be about somebody remembering his childhood, but for about half an hour makes a digression and shows us the creation of the universe.  The whole movie tries to work in a different way, a way in which the story, images and ideas are not there to be automatically understood and digested but experienced.  Perhaps you 'get it', perhaps you don't, but in some way the brain may at least partially work something out.  Before I start to sound all pretentious, let me say that that back in the 70s this kind of movie was quite common in cinemas, where directors as diverse as Andrei Tarkovsky, Alexandro Jodorowsky and Nicolas Roeg were making motion pictures of this kind, films that were pushing the boundaries of 'normal' cinema and trying to make viewers assimilate things in a different way.  The fact that The Tree Of Life, despite getting a very limited cinema release, did much better business than expected, hints that audiences would like more films of this nature.  Of course its director Terrence Malick, who has only made four films in fourty years and hardly ever gives interviews, has always had a mystique about him while his films get weirder and weirder!

The film opens with a mysterious light resembling a flame, which we will see again.  Then we have a few minutes of flashback footage, and you'd better get used to the way this bit is filmed, because all the flashback stuff is filmed like this, with strange angles and edits which break most of the rules of 'normal' filmmaking, but give proceedings a trance-like feel.  I personally love it when filmmakers find new ways to show and tell me things, but it's understandable that many will get annoyed. Regardless, the photography here is absolutely beautiful, though viewers of any of Malick's previous work will expect this.  Also they will expect characters narrating their thoughts, and lots of shots of trees and the sun streaming in the gaps between branches, and they certainly get all this, along with the usual slightly oblique commentary on mankind's relationship to nature. The film soon switches to the present day though, and the gray, soulless, virtually futuristic buildings are a shocking contrast to the small town beauty that we have just been experiencing.  Again, the shots and edits are strange, but here deliberately uneasy, even menacing, as if we have just time travelled and are trying to get used to this brave new world.  Now I will say that the present day scenes with adult Jack consist of little more than him gazing at things and appearing to be deep in thought, and don't really add much to the film.

However, we soon get to the creation section that appears to have caused many walk outs in cinemas.  For several minutes we are treated to nothing less than the formation of the universe, with trippy visuals that were created entirely without CGI [Malick got special effects maestro Douglas Trumball to come out of retirement to work on this film, though great use is made of real footage, such as the nebula sometimes known as The Eye Of God], then the formation of the Earth and eventually life.  None of this is shown in the way you would probably expect, with seemingly random cuts to Saturn's rings, or the inside of a cavern, but it all ties together in a montage of incredible audacity and awesome beauty the like of which is rarely seen in the cinema.  Why are we being shown all this?  Who knows, and does it matter?  I don' t think it does. The majority of the rest of the film is spent on Jack's childhood, eloquently detailing his first experience of things like love and hate, and showing the family become increasingly fractured by the father's dominance. Malick refuses to let him become an actual villain though, even though we grow to intensely dislike him. Throughout all this, Malick still emphasises montage over actual scenes, but truth be told, the second half of the film is a bit dull in places, and a few bits struck me as being pointless. And then, in lieu of a climax, the film gives us an audacious sequence of fantasy rife with symbolism, religious and otherwise.  What does it mean?  I must admit, even I found it's obliqueness too dense, and it's interesting to note that Sean Penn has said that the original script was clearer and all the better for it.

So what is it all about?  What I think it's all about might be different to what you think, but I reckon many people will see the film as, in some ways, Malick's  2001: A Space Odyssey, an attempt to understand life, the universe and our place in it, though his approach is quite different.  Despite showing us the creation of the universe and peppering the rest of the film with bonkers images such as a house underwater, Malick grounds things in a strong human element which is almost sentimental and the antithesis of Stanley Kubrick.  The childhood depicted in the film is an obviously rose-tinted one, perhaps inspired by Malick's own, but the emotions we are privy to are ones that are universal.  Some have mentioned a strong religious element which is maybe strengthened by the use of much religious music, and the narration is often restricted to questions, such as "are you there”?, possibly to some unnamed deity, but the film actually exhibits an atheist point of view in some things.  Mercy, though, is clearly an important theme in the movie. There is an early scene where a dinosaur [yes, there are dinosaurs in this movie] spares another dinosaur's life, and later on Mrs O'Brien gives water to a convict, as in Ben Hur.  Then, quite near the end, Jack has the oppurtunity to kill his father, and I don't think it is ruining things to say that he doesn't.

I am aware that parts of this review are perhaps a little vague, but then so is the film. I haven't yet mentioned the fantastic, immensely detailed performances by Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain and young Hunter McCracken [Sean Penn seems rather wasted], and am probably not devoting enough time to them, but in a year's time, after a couple more viewings, I could probably write a review that is totally different.  I do hope, though, that I have shown that The Tree Of Life is something quite special.  It's certainly nowhere near perfect [unlike, to my mind, Malick's masterpiece The New World], and there are things that grate – the copious chorale singing, the relative lack of dialogue that, while commendable, often results in strange looks to try and transmit the emotion words would have illustrated, some dull sections in the second half.  And yes, the film is, without a doubt, pretentious. Nonetheless, I can't stop thinking about it, and it really is like nothing else out there at the moment. You may love it, you may hate it, but it is what cinema is all about, and more should make films like it.

Rating:8.5/10


_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

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Post #: 167
the way of nature or the way of grace - 19/11/2011 8:46:30 PM   
Dirk Diggler 619

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 22/5/2011
whether the film is about you choosing which faith you rely in such as that God made the earth or Science made the earth in terms of cinema and direction this is ART in cinema...

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Post #: 168
RE: the way of nature or the way of grace - 13/12/2011 11:17:19 AM   
narmour

 

Posts: 40
Joined: 11/3/2011
Having just watched this I don't think I have much more to add to the argument that hasn't already been said... I loved it and will have to watch it again to fully appreciate the intricaciesof it. I can see how some people would think it was a waste of time and I wouldn't feel better than them or insist that they just don't get it. But to me this was a beautiful, artistic, and emotive film which left me unsure of what it all meant, but sure that I had witnessed something beautiful.

If you are a fan of this type of movie, you should check out Gaspar Noe's Enter the Void. This is another film which is incredibly emotive, visually stunning and  intellectualy challenging.

(in reply to Dirk Diggler 619)
Post #: 169
RE: the way of nature or the way of grace - 13/12/2011 11:41:32 AM   
hatebox

 

Posts: 942
Joined: 14/2/2008
Anyone vaguely familiar with Malick's recent output can't have been too surprised by what's on offer here. I'd rather it was shorter, but enjoyed it enough as a sensual experience. I think he needs to drop the voiceovers in future. 

(in reply to narmour)
Post #: 170
RE: the way of nature or the way of grace - 13/12/2011 2:01:39 PM   
garvielloken


Posts: 1189
Joined: 23/10/2011
Film of the year for me along with I Saw The Devil and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.

_____________________________

Exactly six miles north of Skagg Mountain in the Valley of Pain, there lives an evil devilmonster. His name is Bingo Gas Station Motel Cheeseburger With A Side Of Aircraft Noise And You'll Be Gary Indiana.

Razzle them, dazzle them. Razzle dazzle them.



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Post #: 171
The Tree of Life Review - 2/1/2012 9:32:23 PM   
the film man

 

Posts: 605
Joined: 13/10/2010
Terrence Malick's singularly deliberate style may prove unrewarding for some, but for patient viewers like myself, Tree of Life is an emotional as well as visual treat, an unforgettable experience.

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Post #: 172
Deep and meaningful! - 7/1/2012 9:53:46 PM   
dannyfletch


Posts: 645
Joined: 25/5/2008
From: Bromley
Tree of Life is probably Malicks deepest film yet, but not his best
( Thin Red Line is probably my firm favourite ), it is also a very well made and beautifully crafted film with some amazing film making on display. It does require a lot of patience and is very slow moving so you do have to be in the mood.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 173
Terrible - It's "Depth" is entirely bogus. - 8/1/2012 12:24:07 PM   
fiercehairdo

 

Posts: 94
Joined: 6/10/2005
I really disliked this film. It wears it's claims to 'Depth and 'Meaning' on it's sleeve yet it's profundity is entirely bogus. Aesthetically styled like a posh TV commercial even it's claim's to beauty are not justified - I found it visually repetitive and quite empty; very pretty but very boring. The endless footage of floaty, steady-cam shots of kids playing in sunlit, treelined streets really start to wear thin.The best section - the Origin of the Universe bit - is interesting, but one kept expecting Brian Cox's voice to appear over the soundtrack. The whole thing feels like part nature doc, part cosmology doc, part posh TV commercial. I was begging for it to end but when the ending comes, boy, is it a humdinger of BS! Literally taking us to some kind of heavenly afterlife where we all meet up with dead loved ones... My jaw hit the floor with the dumb simplicity of it all. Over two hours to get to this!!?
I think Malick is a massively over-rated director. His films are too often ponderous, tedious, and wrapped up in a phoney, airy-fairy, mumbo jumbo, "Big Question", whispered voice-over that really doesn't come close to dealing with genuinely interesting philosophical questions but instead just affects an air of depth and profundity. It is the style of depth without the content. I say this as someone with a genuine love for the most difficult, challenging, 'hard-work' cinema out there and no defender of cheap thrills blockbusters, but I just don't think Malick cuts it.
I do wish the many film critics in thrall to his myth would wake up and face the fact that, yes, Malick is an interesting director but also very flawed and, too often, deadly dull.

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Post #: 174
RE: The Tree of Life Review - 8/1/2012 12:39:03 PM   
fiercehairdo

 

Posts: 94
Joined: 6/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: the film man

Terrence Malick's singularly deliberate style may prove unrewarding for some, but for patient viewers like myself, Tree of Life is an emotional as well as visual treat, an unforgettable experience.


What an utterly patronising comment! In other words you're saying: "Some impatient (inferior) viewers may not get it but for patient (superior) viewers like myself, who have the necessary insight to understand great art, we get it" -RUBBISH!!!!!!!!

To dismiss criticism as simply viewers lacking patience is extremely condescending.
I think a more likely reading of the situation is that you are much more gullibly taken in by empty profundity whispered with a sense of DEEP MEANING over the soundtrack. Taken in by very pretty, but very slick and empty, TV-ad style cinematography. Taken in by a bizarre Christian/pantheistic religiosity that has all the depth and complexity of a dodgy Sunday sermon.

Personally I found the film's religiosity naive, simplistic,sentimental and unconvincing. I wouldn't mind so much if the means of conveying it's ideas were more interesting that an overlong, slick TV commercial, which is what this feels like.

(in reply to the film man)
Post #: 175
RE: The Tree of Life Review - 8/1/2012 3:26:55 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
quote:

ORIGINAL: fiercehairdo
Personally I found the film's religiosity naive, simplistic,sentimental and unconvincing. I wouldn't mind so much if the means of conveying it's ideas were more interesting that an overlong, slick TV commercial, which is what this feels like.


And how so? I want proper explanations and no silly puns or reductive criticisms.

(especially the unconvincing bit since Malick himself is religious)

< Message edited by Deviation -- 8/1/2012 3:32:05 PM >


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to fiercehairdo)
Post #: 176
RE: Terrible - It's "Depth" is entirely bogus. - 8/1/2012 3:29:06 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ

quote:


Literally taking us to some kind of heavenly afterlife where we all meet up with dead loved ones... My jaw hit the floor with the dumb simplicity of it all. Over two hours to get to this!!?


It wasn't an afterlife and they weren't dead, this is quite clear.
quote:


I do wish the many film critics in thrall to his myth would wake up and face the fact that, yes, Malick is an interesting director but also very flawed and, too often, deadly dull.


Why should they, actually why should I? OH YEAH WAIT WAIT BECUASE YOU BELIEVE THAT THEREFORE YOU ARE RIGHT


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to fiercehairdo)
Post #: 177
RE: The Tree of Life Review - 8/1/2012 3:32:11 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: fiercehairdo

To dismiss criticism as simply viewers lacking patience is extremely condescending.


Just as well you avoided being condescending in your response.

quote:

I think a more likely reading of the situation is that you are much more gullibly taken in by empty profundity whispered with a sense of DEEP MEANING over the soundtrack. Taken in by very pretty, but very slick and empty, TV-ad style cinematography. Taken in by a bizarre Christian/pantheistic religiosity that has all the depth and complexity of a dodgy Sunday sermon.


Oh...

(in reply to fiercehairdo)
Post #: 178
RE: The Tree of Life Review - 8/1/2012 3:48:31 PM   
jiraffejustin


Posts: 483
Joined: 29/3/2011
I think Brad Pitt is really sexy. That is my review.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 179
RE: The Tree of Life Review - 8/1/2012 3:59:14 PM   
Harry Tuttle


Posts: 7993
Joined: 12/11/2005
From: Sometime in the future.
I watched this last night and I'm still summing up my thoughts about it.

I enjoyed it, that much I know. What I don't know is why.

_____________________________

Acting...Naturaaal

Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!

Blood Island. So called because it's the exact shape of some blood

(in reply to jiraffejustin)
Post #: 180
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