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Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Monday, June 06, 2011

Terrence Malick

Is Terrence Malick the world’s greatest living filmmaker? I'd say no, but David Bentley Hart thinks so ....

Not long after seeing the trailer for Atlas Shrugged, I came across the trailer for quite a different kind of film: Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. Malick is the world’s greatest living filmmaker, and this project has been with him for years. The two minutes or so of clips that have been released are far more beautiful, moving, and profound than anything associated with the name of Ayn Rand could ever be. “There are two ways through life,” a woman’s voice announces as the trailer opens: “the way of nature and the way of grace. We have to choose which one to follow.” That is arguably the great theme of all of Malick’s finest work; and I suspect that the deeper question the film poses is whether these two ways can become one. If what little I have heard about the film is right, moreover, the answer will have something to do with a love capable of embracing all things, and of both granting and receiving forgiveness. But we shall see.
- The Trouble with Ayn Rand

And after reading Fr. James Martin's review in America magazine's blog of Malick's just out The Tree of Life, I'd say Fr. Martin agrees with Hart. They aren't alone - see Roger Ebert's review in which he gave the movie four stars.

I haven't seen the movie yet myself, just watched the trailer and read a few reviews, but I can already feel taking hold that tendency I have to want to disagree with the majority opinion ... yes, I'm getting ready to dislike the movie ... and it doesn't help that the film starts off with God's non-responsive answer to Job's question about why he allows evil -- "Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation...while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" -- I hate that!

This is not to say that former philosophy student Malick doesn't make beautiful movies. The one film of his I've seen so far was The New World which I did like very much (my review). It had beautiful visuals .....



... and a beautiful soundtrack (like Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 used in this scene) .....



..... and doubtless The Tree of Life has a similar beauty. But I'm not one of those who thinks beauty will save the world, and I'll need more than beauty to distract me from getting a real answer to Job's question.


2 Comments:

Anonymous Victor said...

Why God allows evil to me is as easy to answer as why does God allow you and me or any other souls or angels to exist as we chose and I would say that "IT" is because He loves U>S (usual sinners) in His Own Way and to me that means that He's in no hurry cause He's got all The Times in The World and gives U>S and dare I, me and/or myself say that He gives every one of our spiritual and/or reality DNA, who have originally been made in His Own Image, free will to come to Him when and if we see fit to do so!


Does that make any sense? :)

Shalom

2:12 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Victor :)

Yes, I think that's the most well known reason given for why God lets evil exist.

3:00 PM  

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