Author Topic: The Tree of Life (2011)  (Read 670 times)

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Offline Matto

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The Tree of Life (2011)
« on: September 16, 2019, 09:14:01 PM »
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  • For Mithrandylan.

    Mith asked me to watch this movie and tell him what I thought about it. It was from 2011 and was written and directed by Terrence Malick and won the Palm D'Or at Cannes. I watched it tonight. I will watch it again tomorrow. To be political it reminded me of the magical world that the Baby Boomers threw away for the false promises of Rock and Roll and how the generations after them hate them for what they threw away. It was a magical world where anything was possible. As an older man, Sean Penn's character complains how everyone now was greedy.

    But actually I thought about Anglicanism or Episcopalianism as the family were. I thought about Saint Augustine.

    [color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87)]“No man can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. One can have honor, one can have the sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in the Catholic Church.”[/color]

    [color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87)]It was definitely worth watching and thinking about. I would not put it up there with my favorite films but I would give it four stars. It is a real film worth watching. And it is decent for modern films. There is no sex, no immodesty by normal standards (not by trad standards but it is very decent for the world's standards.) [/color]

    [color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87)]It was interesting how the father was shrewd and the mother was innocent as she was sheltered from the world. How the boy become jaded as they grew older. The beginning talks about how some live by grace and some live by nature and that none of those who live by grace come to a bad end. By the son dies and the family grieves. And the other people who try to comfort the mother offer no consolation. The thing is as Anglicans they are not living by grace, so their world falls apart. I can see why the director disappeared for a long time and then resurfaced years later, and how he made this film. It is a real movie. I loved the sun flowers. They were for me. For a modern movie I thought it was wonderful.[/color]

    [color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87)]I will not do an exegesis of all of the images, shot by shot, but this movie would be worth such effort. But I will leave that to the critics. It was a meaningful film. But it was not Catholic. But honestly what hollywood movies are Catholic? Are there any? [/color]

    [color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.870588235294118)]My actual thought during this movie was "C.S. Lewis is in hell." I can leave it at that. I will say more after I watch it again tomorrow. It was good enough to be worthy of a second viewing.[/color]

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    Offline Matto

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    Re: The Tree of Life (2011)
    « Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 09:39:45 PM »
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  • The C.S. Lewis is in hell line was a joke. I don't know where his soul is, but as far as I know he died an Anglican, so if he didn't die a Catholic he would be in hell.
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    Online Mithrandylan

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    Re: The Tree of Life (2011)
    « Reply #2 on: September 17, 2019, 08:24:01 AM »
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  • I enjoyed reading your first impression!  Allow me to offer a few thoughts, several of which may be useful for your second viewing (an excellent idea, by the way-- to watch it in sequence more than once).
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    I will not do an exegesis of all of the images, shot by shot, but this movie would be worth such effort.
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    Indeed it is!  It is a story of images and music.  There is not a single frame without meaning.
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    But I will leave that to the critics. It was a meaningful film. But it was not Catholic.
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    Are you sure?  It depends on what one means by a "Catholic" film or work of art/fiction.  Is Antigone Catholic?  Well, not in any direct sense-- it was written by a pagan and the whole story is about Pagans, and at that, about pagans trying to worship pagan gods.  But on analysis I would say that Antigone is deeply Catholic in its message and themes: the whole thing is about the notion of a higher law which no man can repeal, and heroism in the story is indicated by obeying the divine law over the laws of men, of respecting tradition, of honoring family, and of doing all of this in a truly ραƚɾισtic way.  The story of Antigone anticipates the story of St. Thomas More in a real and powerful way.  When you actually sit back and think about what a play like Antigone is saying, the fact that it was written by a pagan and "stars" pagans fades into obscurity.
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    Ditto The Tree of Life, but even moreso.  For one, it is not obvious to me that the family is episcopalian; the way religion is handled in the film is ambiguous, which is appropriate given the memory-styled way the story is told.  For instance, the father genuflects and makes the sign of the cross when leaving his pew-- not an Anglican custom, so far as I am aware.  They also light vigil candles; again, not an Anglican custom so far as I am aware.  There are other aspects-- like the confirmation shot in montage, which do not reflect Catholic practices-- so either the director was not attentive in painting a consistent picture of their religious praxis or, consistent with how childhood memory works (especially for someone like Jack, who clearly has set any religious considerations on the back burner for most of his life), Jack's memories of religion are vague.  
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    But more to the point, suppose they are Anglicans, I think that fact detracts little to nothing from the film because what the film has to say is more metaphysical than it is directly religious.  You can think of ToL as one long prayer, a la De Profundis (think of the mother's voiceover: "where were you? What are we to you?" as the camera ascends out of a cavern and then we see a gurgling wasteland; think of the film's opening quote from the book of Job, think of Jack's voiceover on the playground: "I want to know what you are, I want to see what you see"), etc.  Every character, to the degree that they speak, is speaking a primitive and metaphysical prayer to God from the depths.  It's the sort of prayer that I think everyone has said and meant at least at some time in their lives.  A primitive but deeply genuine prayer, and one that is perfectly consistent with (indeed, I would say included in) the Catholic faith.  Just as Antigone's central messaging and theme is, despite the fact that there's nothing "directly" Catholic about it. That's considering the film at a high level, without getting into the details too much.
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    I loved the sun flowers. They were for me. For a modern movie I thought it was wonderful.

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    Me too.  The very first shot is of the field of sunflowers, as is one of the very last shots.  Why is this? Sun flowers are heliotropic (they follow the sun). What is the sun? In this film, it symbolizes God.  Keep this in mind when you watch it a second time.  Look at how the Sun is used-- always watching, but sometimes it is gone due to cloud cover-- like when the mother mournfully walks through the forest, indicating the ostensible absence of God.  Think about that playground shot where Jack has a voice over, and how all of his requests ("I want to see what you see, etc.") have the camera searching for the Sun, which it eventually settles on as the shot ends.  This happens frequently throughout the film, the camera is always "looking" for the sun, and even indoors the camera is always "looking" for the light.  So, the sun flowers are the souls of the just.  They are entrenched in the way of grace, always and only looking at the Sun.
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    The beginning talks about how some live by grace and some live by nature and that none of those who live by grace come to a bad end.
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    All things considered, I think that the movie is "about" the reconciliation of grace and nature.  Although the mother says this at the beginning, the movie considered as a whole does not view nature and grace as contradictory but in tension, eventually to be reconciled.  Jack is an architect-- grace builds on nature.  The very last shot of the film is a bridge, uniting, as it were, grace (depicted throughout the film as natural beauty) and nature (depicted throughout the film as human industry).  The final scenes on the beach are, for my money, Jack reaching a place of understanding and seeing that these two are reconciled.  It is a great mystery to us, how they are, so those scenes are difficult to analyze, but when he "returns" he obviously has a deep peace and understanding, and he will never see the world the same again.  Think about it-- the Agnus Dei plays during this.  "Behold the Lamb of God"-- whatever the beach scene is, it is a revelation.  
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    Nature is necessary.  The film tells us this through the character of the father; although the father seems like a tyrant, it is not until the father leaves that Jack really starts to have problems.  We cannot escape nature, we have to learn to "live with it" and work with grace so that our nature is perfected.  
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    Finally, we must speak of the young woman who appears throughout the film.  This is the Virgin Mary, for my money.  She guides characters in the way of grace.  The boy who dies, R.L., is a favorite of hers.  She comforts him in short shots early on.  She leads the young children out of the cave and into the light, she opens gates for them.  There are cosmic clouds, during the cosmological sequence, in the shape of the Madonna and Child.  At the very end, during the beach sequences, she helps the mother raise her hands to heaven as she (the mother) says "I give him to you, I give you my son."  The Virgin's intercession allows us to make this kind of selfless sacrifice, as she alone has suffered so deeply to lose not just a son, but the perfect son.
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    I have many other thoughts too, but these are some of the most important ones.  You'll have to let us know what you think after watching it again.
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    Offline Matto

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    Re: The Tree of Life (2011)
    « Reply #3 on: September 17, 2019, 09:08:59 AM »
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  • The reason I say it was not Catholic was because to my knowledge the writer and director is an Anglican. You point to Antigone. But that was a pagan story. I am a student of mythology. All the myths and legends and all the stories that are remembered tell the truth through fable. That is why they are worth remembering. Indeed I think all of creation, and every story, and every word even our idle words, tell the truth and give praise and glory to God. Even the blasphemies of Patti Smith as she is performing in ѕуηαgσgυєs give praise and glory to God. The sin is in the intention, but all of creation is good. Just as every knee must bend to the name of Jesus, even the knees of the fallen angels and damned souls in hell, try as they may, everything the wicked do gives glory to God. So in that sense every story is Catholic. So what I try to do, as a reader of mythology is find truth in the ancient stories. I am ignorant but I want to learn.

    So this is like T.S. Eliot or Ezra Pound or C.S. Lewis. Wonderful art, but not Catholic. They truly want to love God and be good, but they do not have the faith. I really respect Ezra Pound and used to have my favorite short poem of his as my signature. The idea of him spending the last years of his life as a prisoner in a mental institution because he was persecuted for his support of Mussolini during the second World War seems to me like a little martyrdom. I hope he died a Catholic and was saved. He is a hero to many ραƚɾισts for being against Usury and the båñkêrs and the Jews.

    I see this story as an Anglican parable. Anglicans know all about the law but nothing of the spirit. The faith is not a set of beliefs per se, it is a seed in the soul that grows into a fig tree that blossoms and bears fruit, eternal fruit, to be picked by the angels and offered to God in the eternal wedding feast. Or a vine whose grapes will be gathered by the angels and crushed by Christ on his walk to Calvary ("I have trodden the winepress alone") and fermented by the angels into the sweetest of wines. The Anglicans have memorized the ten commandments, but they have no fruit. They have no wine. So every story to them is a tragedy.

    I think the reason childhood is idolized by protestants is because they remember the grace they had but lost upon growing up. As a young child life is a fairy tale because you are baptized and the Holy Ghost is dwelling in your soul. But then one day once commits his first mortal sin and grace is expelled from the soul. And without the sacraments one can never get it back. So as one gets older and sins more and more the magic fades and goes away and the more one sins the worse the world gets until when one is an adult one is jaded and the world is a nightmare and everything is hell. As an adult everyone is greedy. I still remember my first mortal sin. I was about five years old and I filled an empty can of soda with water and threw it at a girl's head and the blood gushed forth from her forehead. I cried and I cried and I cried. I did not know at the time that the reason I had cried was not because I had hurt the girl, but because I had expelled the Holy Ghost from my soul. Without the sacraments there is no redemption.

    I do not understand the ending. Is it a hope, or a reality? I do not understand the significance of the movie. Is it sentimental. I do not know. It is a dense movie. I really loved the scenes of the glory of nature, especially the jellyfish.

    I will say more after my second viewing. I had a long post typed but I lost it so I had to rewrite the post and lost a lot of my original thought, so this post is not as good as it was originally. But I think this is a great movie to think about. I would recommend others on the forum to watch it and add their thoughts. It is about as good of an American movie as I have ever seen. But I don't respect most American filmmakers, except strangely enough for Walt Disney, I think his cartoons were magnificent, whether or not he was a freemason.

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    Offline tdrev123

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    Re: The Tree of Life (2011)
    « Reply #4 on: September 17, 2019, 10:06:57 PM »
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  • I have seen a few of Terrence Mallicks movies, I think the reason why everyone debates the meanings of his films and what this or that means is because Terrence doesn't have answers.  His movies are searching for something but you are left wondering what you found.  I think it comes from the fact that the director hasn't found it, he hasn't found the answer.  Everyone on this forum knows the answer, Catholicism.  But he is someone who is artistically trying to find it but unfortunately he hasn't.   


    Online Mithrandylan

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    Re: The Tree of Life (2011)
    « Reply #5 on: September 18, 2019, 09:17:54 AM »
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  • The reason I say it was not Catholic was because to my knowledge the writer and director is an Anglican. You point to Antigone. But that was a pagan story. I am a student of mythology. All the myths and legends and all the stories that are remembered tell the truth through fable. That is why they are worth remembering. Indeed I think all of creation, and every story, and every word even our idle words, tell the truth and give praise and glory to God. Even the blasphemies of Patti Smith as she is performing in ѕуηαgσgυєs give praise and glory to God. The sin is in the intention, but all of creation is good. Just as every knee must bend to the name of Jesus, even the knees of the fallen angels and damned souls in hell, try as they may, everything the wicked do gives glory to God. So in that sense every story is Catholic. So what I try to do, as a reader of mythology is find truth in the ancient stories. I am ignorant but I want to learn.

    So this is like T.S. Eliot or Ezra Pound or C.S. Lewis. Wonderful art, but not Catholic. They truly want to love God and be good, but they do not have the faith. I really respect Ezra Pound and used to have my favorite short poem of his as my signature. The idea of him spending the last years of his life as a prisoner in a mental institution because he was persecuted for his support of Mussolini during the second World War seems to me like a little martyrdom. I hope he died a Catholic and was saved. He is a hero to many ραƚɾισts for being against Usury and the båñkêrs and the Jews.
    .
    I agree with all of this.  I guess what I'm interested is the descriptor "Catholic" ascribed to this or that work of art/fiction.  On the one hand, all truth is God's truth, and in that respect everything that is good about any work of art or fiction is Catholic.  But then to call the art Catholic becomes rather trivial.  On the other hand we can look at the creator's own religious allegiances (or lackthereof) and make a judgment based on that.  But doing that can become misleading, for then we end up saying that a movie like The Song of Bernadette isn't Catholic, when if any film deserves to be described as "Catholic," it's that one.  
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    I think of films as being mostly a throwback to pagan times.  Most of them are rotten garbage, but here and there you get something that's thoroughly Sophoclean and packed with virtue and timelessness, just as you do when you look to the ancients for wisdom.  I tend toward thinking of such works the same way that I think of the ancient tragedians, and though none of them were Catholic, it never comes to mind that "not Catholic" is an accurate or meaningful descriptor for their works.  
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    I think the reason childhood is idolized by protestants is because they remember the grace they had but lost upon growing up. As a young child life is a fairy tale because you are baptized and the Holy Ghost is dwelling in your soul. But then one day once commits his first mortal sin and grace is expelled from the soul. And without the sacraments one can never get it back. So as one gets older and sins more and more the magic fades and goes away and the more one sins the worse the world gets until when one is an adult one is jaded and the world is a nightmare and everything is hell. As an adult everyone is greedy. I still remember my first mortal sin. I was about five years old and I filled an empty can of soda with water and threw it at a girl's head and the blood gushed forth from her forehead. I cried and I cried and I cried. I did not know at the time that the reason I had cried was not because I had hurt the girl, but because I had expelled the Holy Ghost from my soul. Without the sacraments there is no redemption.

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    This is a really interesting theory.  In the film, childhood is both idolized but also seen with a great darkness and sobriety.  Young Jack falls from grace and there's nothing ambiguous about it-- he, as a child and as an adult, knows it.  One of the most impressive parts of the film for me was when he was trashing that abandoned shed and says that "I can only do what I hate."  This is the chant of the demons, who can only hate.  And then he says "I want to get back to where they are."  And we see his brothers playing in the water and rain, being washed.  Water frequently symbolizes baptism (in a generic sense, all throughout film-- it has the power to wash).  Jack knows he has sinned and knows he needs to be cleansed.  So while childhood is idyllic in some senses, it is also seen as a time when we lose our innocence-- not as "victims" but as perpetrators.  Even the young sin.
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    I do not understand the ending. Is it a hope, or a reality? I do not understand the significance of the movie. Is it sentimental. I do not know. It is a dense movie. I really loved the scenes of the glory of nature, especially the jellyfish.


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    I don't understand the ending either, Matto.  Not in any specific way.  But adult Jack is guided to a place by the Virgin Mary.  I call it a place only to indicate that it is real, even if it is not tempero-spatial.  It is a place of understanding and reconciliation.  His father and mother are there, united.  What specifically Jack learns, I am not sure, but it brings him to his knees (again, remember Agnus Dei).  I am reminded of St. Paul's mention of being brought up to the third heavens, a place he cannot describe.  I am not saying Jack has literally seen Heaven (although he does ascend to get there, literally, via the elevator which is shown alongside the shot of the camera ascending from the cavern), but he has seen something that clarifies his understanding and brings him a deep peace, as indicated by the fact that he returns and has a look of wonder and contentment on his face.  
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    Remember that it is in that scene that the mother offers her son to God.  She does this with the assistance of the Virgin Mary.  So, we might say that when Jack goes to that place, what Jack is understanding is what it takes to manage sorrow.  He sees how his mother managed it, by offering it up (remember that early on in the film he makes a comment about not knowing how she bore the pain of losing RL).  So if we wanted to get specific, we might say that after the beach scene, Jack now understands how sorrow and tragedy are concomitants to profound beauty, and how it is willing sacrifice-- something he as an adult and child has never been able to really do-- is necessary in order for happiness.  Remember that the mother says "unless you love, you will never be happy."  Love is sacrifice.  It isn't sentimental, it is a real and proper act of the will, often doing something that our self-interest would scoff at.  Jack learns the value of sacrifice.

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    Online Mithrandylan

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    Re: The Tree of Life (2011)
    « Reply #6 on: September 18, 2019, 09:19:21 AM »
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  • I have seen a few of Terrence Mallicks movies, I think the reason why everyone debates the meanings of his films and what this or that means is because Terrence doesn't have answers.  His movies are searching for something but you are left wondering what you found.  I think it comes from the fact that the director hasn't found it, he hasn't found the answer.  Everyone on this forum knows the answer, Catholicism.  But he is someone who is artistically trying to find it but unfortunately he hasn't.  
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    I am sure that has something to do with it.  But there are virtually no Catholic directors, so the same could be said about virtually everyone else (even Mel, at this point).  But there's something different about Mallick.  He isn't like Scorcese, he isn't like Spielberg, he isn't anywhere remotely like any of the "big" names. 
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    One "trick" to understanding Mallick, I think, is understanding that he was trained as a philosopher rather than as a film-maker.  He was studying for his doctorate in philosophy at Oxford (or Cambridge maybe), but fell out with his advisor and never completed his studies.  He taught graduate philosophy as well.  I think anyone who has trained at that level (even in the sixties) has been exposed to pretty big ideas, and, however lost they are, is likely to have a pretty decent understanding of the quintessential metaphysical questions.  So unlike Scorcese or one of these other nihilists, I think Mallick knows that there is a good out there.  I think that both The Thin Red Line and The Tree of Life are dripping with Platonism.  Not necessarily calling Mallick a Platonist per se (I think his dissertation was on Hegel), but he'd be familiar with the ideas, and there's nothing committedly phenomenological about his film making, at least certainly not with ToLToL is really a movie about metaphysics, when it comes down to it.  It's about literally everything.  It's about life per se, it's about suffering per se, it's about God per se, it's about privation and growth per se, etc.  That's why there's no real story.  The actors don't matter at all, anyone in theory could have starred in that film and done just as good a job because the characters in it only exist as vehicles for these deeper and more fundamental questions. 
    .
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    Offline Matto

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    Re: The Tree of Life (2011)
    « Reply #7 on: September 18, 2019, 10:34:09 AM »
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  • Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa. Forgive me, Mith, but I failed in my attempt to watch the film again. I was too ambitious so I failed. I started watching the film for a second time and started to do an exegesis, scene by scene. Mostly noting what happened, but also giving some commentary. But I got burned out. I got about an hour into the movie and had to quit because of dryness. So I did not finish the movie for the second time (and I rented, I did not buy, so I will not be finishing my re-watching of the movie now). But it reminds me of C.S. Lewis more than anything even though I have never read him. My favorite moment was when the mother was floating in the air in front of the tree seemingly dancing to the music in the air, like she was enchanted.

    The most common visual scene I noticed was the camera looking up at the sun, usually through trees or water or clouds or some other obstacle because one can not look at the sun directly without going blind so it has to be eclipsed at least partially to be seen. Especially walking through the woods while looking at the sun. The woods is a powerful theme in fairy tales. Think "Hansel and Gretel". What I took from it is it was a search for God within the world. Another theme I noticed was the mother giving water to her son and the criminal, raising it to their lips and them drinking. Exactly like the two moments in Ben Hur when that happened. Didn't Christ offer water in that way to Judah when he was parched in Ben Hur and then near the end Judah offers water to Jesus in the same way while he is on his march up to Calvary with the Cross? Or am I mis-remembering? But that is what that reminded me of and I thought it was a wonderful image. I loved the moment when the mother was with her son (I believe she was holding him) and she pointed to the heavens and cried out "That is where God lives". The sun of course is a symbol of Christ and the sun rising in the East is a symbol of the second coming because Christ will come again from the East to the West which is why Churches face the East. So I saw the whole movie as a search for God in the fallen world. Perhaps the ending is the hope of Mallick that in the end we will find God and peace will be restored to our souls. Since I did not re-watch the second half I cannot say. But I will put Mallick on my list of great American directors. Who is another member of that list? Perhaps Clint Eastwood?

    Film can be so powerful, it really is a shame that it came into its own in a wicked century after most of the world ceased to be Catholic so there are few Catholic directors who took their faith seriously. So in considering movies to watch it is usually trying to find pagans or protestants who make decent movies and to take the Catholic themes  out of those movies. Of these, my three favorites are Yasujiro Ozu, the Japanese director, Carl Theodore Dreyer, the Danish director, and Andrei Tarkovsky, the Russian director. I also love Hayao Miyazaki, the director of Japanese cartoons.
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    Online Mithrandylan

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    Re: The Tree of Life (2011)
    « Reply #8 on: September 18, 2019, 11:17:58 AM »
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  • Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa. Forgive me, Mith, but I failed in my attempt to watch the film again. I was too ambitious so I failed. I started watching the film for a second time and started to do an exegesis, scene by scene. Mostly noting what happened, but also giving some commentary. But I got burned out. I got about an hour into the movie and had to quit because of dryness. So I did not finish the movie for the second time (and I rented, I did not buy, so I will not be finishing my re-watching of the movie now). But it reminds me of C.S. Lewis more than anything even though I have never read him. My favorite moment was when the mother was floating in the air in front of the tree seemingly dancing to the music in the air, like she was enchanted.


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    No worries!  You used the word "dense" and that's an appropriate one.  It's a very demanding watch. 
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    The most common visual scene I noticed was the camera looking up at the sun, usually through trees or water or clouds or some other obstacle because one can not look at the sun directly without going blind so it has to be eclipsed at least partially to be seen. Especially walking through the woods while looking at the sun. The woods is a powerful theme in fairy tales. Think "Hansel and Gretel". What I took from it is it was a search for God within the world.
    .
    Yes, I agree.  I have also taken notes on the film and the tendency of the camera to look for the sun-- especially through obstacles, as you note-- is ubiquitous.  This makes it even more significant, I think, that at the end during the beach scene when the mother and RL leave the house, the sun is seen above the moutnains, completely unobscured.  That had not actually occurred to me until now, with you pointing out that the sun is usually shot through trees or some other obstruction.  Thank you for that!
    .

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    Another theme I noticed was the mother giving water to her son and the criminal, raising it to their lips and them drinking. Exactly like the two moments in Ben Hur when that happened. Didn't Christ offer water in that way to Judah when he was parched in Ben Hur and then near the end Judah offers water to Jesus in the same way while he is on his march up to Calvary with the Cross? Or am I mis-remembering? But that is what that reminded me of and I thought it was a wonderful image. I loved the moment when the mother was with her son (I believe she was holding him) and she pointed to the heavens and cried out "That is where God lives".
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    Yes!  You remember correctly, and when I saw ToL the first time and saw her giving water to the criminal, I thought of the exact same scene from Ben Hurr.  I wonder if that was planned.  I also loved when she is spinning with her son and points to the heavens and says "that is where God lives."  It is one of the most joyful things I have ever seen on a screen. 
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    The sun of course is a symbol of Christ and the sun rising in the East is a symbol of the second coming because Christ will come again from the East to the West which is why Churches face the East. So I saw the whole movie as a search for God in the fallen world. Perhaps the ending is the hope of Mallick that in the end we will find God and peace will be restored to our souls.
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    Absolutely.  And you're probably right about Mallick's hope.
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    Film can be so powerful, it really is a shame that it came into its own in a wicked century after most of the world ceased to be Catholic so there are few Catholic directors who took their faith seriously. So in considering movies to watch it is usually trying to find pagans or protestants who make decent movies and to take the Catholic themes  out of those movies. Of these, my three favorites are Yasujiro Ozu, the Japanese director, Carl Theodore Dreyer, the Danish director, and Andrei Tarkovsky, the Russian director. I also love Hayao Miyazaki, the director of Japanese cartoons.

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    Very true words!  One thing I look forward to, although I do not expect it to happen in my life time, is the resurgence of Catholic artists.  Film is undoubtedly the most powerful artistic medium because it can combine narrative, visuals, and sound.  Too powerful a medium to be left in the hands of heathens, as the kind of smut regularly churned out testifies.
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