Friday, April 26, 2013

Terrence Malick's movies incorrectly reviewed

I haven't posted in a while, but this article made me want to see Malick's new movie (and the Tree of Life):

Has anyone seen either of these? Any thoughts? I'll have to rent them before commenting further. Interesting though that this guy seems to think so many reviewers have completely missed the point of these two movies. I don't know what it says about the movies or Malick, but certainly damning the intellect of movie reviewers.


James R said...

I've seen The Tree of Life. James absolutely loved the film. He couldn't say enough good things about it. I liked it aside from "its religious themes and cosmic ambitions [which] were hard to miss." Call me a religious snob, but the realistic parts of the film were extremely well done, and were, I'd agree, quite religious. But the obvious religious parts I thought were trite.

[Warning: spoilers] Everyone loves the solemn, symphonic, slow, lobotomized view of heaven. Where does this come from? As I mentioned in the 2nd best definition of God, if we look to what we know about God (not much, I admit), heaven would be "an infinite ring circus." Why would God's special dwelling place (for man's soul and body, apparently), be indistinguishable from the land of zombies, albeit happy zombies.

But that is my personal dissatisfaction against main stream Christian eschatology. I did not read the whole referenced article because, I want to see To The Wonder. If it deals as intelligently and sympathetically with the enigma of life as did The Tree of Life, it will be good.

By the way I'll reference Religious movies where I mentioned The Tree of Life and two other religious movies. I still haven't read James Gleick's The Information, but maybe now I will.

Big Myk said...

Tree of lIfe may be a great and profound movie, but I can't say that I really liked it. Most critics gushed over it -- and for that reason probably my expectations were too high. I went to the movie expecting to be blown away -- but if left me pretty much unmoved.

Sukhdev Sandhu, chief film critic of London's The Daily Telegraph describes the movie as "self-absorbed," and "achingly slow, almost buckling under the weight of its swoony poetry," and I tend to agree.

I've seen Malick's Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line and The New World. And they all share these similarities: little dialogue with beautifully photographed lingering shots -- which, I'm afraid, together make the movies particulaly ponderous.

Having said this, it well may be that I totally missed the point of Tree of Life. It certainly is an original, and Sean Penn, as always, is tremendous, and Brad Pitt ain't bad either.

James R said...

I finally saw To The Wonder. Plus I could now read the entire article referenced. There is no question that both movies are pregnant with Christian religion. There is little else. Whether the movies are satisfying as either cinema or religious statements are both other questions.

Although I get frustrated (or bored) with his depiction of religion "Like windy citherns hankering for hymns", I can appreciate his depiction of God and religion as something similar to what philosopher Michel Henry said, "Life is nothing but this absolute love that religion calls God." Like Paul Tillich, Malick seems to be saying that God is basically the depth of your life. Or, only if you believe life is shallow, can you be an atheist.