- Posted October 1, 2011 by
Merrick, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
iReport at the movies
Terence Malick's Latest Masterpiece Comes to the Small Screen
On October 11th, the fifth and somewhat controversial new film by master director and writer, Terrence Malick, was released on DVD and Blu-ray.
"The Tree of Life," a highly personal, enigmatic, spiritually thought provoking film and winner of the 2011 Cannes film festival's Palme d'Or, had many movie goers scratching their heads as they left the theatre, re-examining their deepest beliefs about God, the universe and even questioning their definition of film as an art form. Some came away confused and angry, as if the film had cheated them in some way, leaving them with un-answered questions about the plot, the movie's message and ultimately themselves. Others, myself included, sat on the edge of their seats in complete awe and wishing it continued for more than it's two hours and twenty minutes.
This film, staring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain, with it's fractal, non-linear story about a small 1950's couple raising three boys in Waco Texas is juxtaposed with the entire story of life itself. Speaking of the two aspects of human life, nature and grace, it touches the subconscious mind as well as the conscious with breathtaking imagery and an ethereal, lush music score that underline theological as well as philosophical questions that many might not dare to ask. Or would be afraid to. The film does not seem to question wether there is a God, but poses the age old query of Job, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
All of this is to be expected of Malick, who grew up in the small town of Waco himself, studied Philosophy at Harvard, graduating summa cum laude and went on to teach Philosophy at M.I.T. None of his films are strictly for the "popcorn" crowd but are cerebral, introspective and intellectually stimulating. If you want to see fast car chases, lots of guns and blood or hot steamy sex at the theatre then you might not care for his particular fare. But if you've ever asked the question like one of the characters in the film, "Where are you God?" then perhaps "The Tree of Life" is for you.
Interactive website; http://www.twowaysthroughlife.com
London School of Theology / Student's reactions to the film;