Sunday, 10 July 2011


Terrence Malick is a director whose work I anticipate the way some people anticipate having children or getting married. It's a huge event for me, and because they come so infrequently, it makes it even more exciting when they finally arrive. THE TREE OF LIFE has now finally opened after much wrangling about its release date (ICON were originally meant to be the distributors, before they breached their contract, some say on purpose, and then Fox picked it up), and I have now seen it twice.

It's already my favorite film of the year, one that affected me emotionally above all and then hit me on many technical and 'film geek' levels too. It's an incredible experience, a transcendental, ambitious, epic masterpiece that deserves to be seen on the big screen. I understand it's not for everyone. But if you get it, it'll devastate you.

Rob Beames and I recorded a podcast about it (his opinion on the film is a lot less enthusiastic than mine) and we were joined by ocassional guest Craig Munro, who sits somewhere in between our opinions. You can subscribe and listen on iTunes here.


  1. I saw it this afternoon,and was similarly bowled over-and thought I had the answer to the question "what's it all about?".Ithought the Sean Penn character was working in NYC,and he looked at a tree growing from Ground Zero;easy,I thought-extended meditation on 9/11;I even thought I recognized the George Washington Bridge,and the the tunnel goimg towards the World Financial Center-but all the reviews say it's set i Dallas.So much for my interpretatiion-BUT it's beautiful and thought-provoking-and anything that projects Berlioz'"Grande Messe des Morts"at the end is fine by me.

    Thank you for showing it

    Jennifer A9

  2. I went to see it last night and walked out after an hour. The thought of watching it until the end made me want to fork my own eye out.

    I personally thought it was a beautiful, self-indulgent, pretentious pile of nonsense, and friends that stayed until the end said they wished they hadn't. Not one of my favourites I would have to say!

  3. The above can't be the last word!At least stay until the end before pronouncing judgement.

    I listened to the lads' podcast today,and thought "they never mentioned the music"-if you had stayed until the end and closed your eyes you wouldn't have had to gouge them out,and you would have got the gist anyway.

    Other thoughts on the film-Brad Pitt is described by a lot of the critics as being some sort of tyrannical father-for the 50s he is loving and committed-believe me,I was there-remember a lot of these men were scarred by serving in WW2;at least there was no cane behind the cellar door(a standard item in my childhood,and for many others).

    I agree about the religious content,but a lot of great art is inspired by this impulse

    I enjoyed the mystical content more than the rather conventional coming of age middle bit-I feel I've seen coming of age many times before,bu
    but not in such a different context


    Jennifer A9