Tree of Life: From Genesis to Revelation

Tree of Life resurrects the era when Hollywood still aspired to greatness. Not since 2001:  A Space Odyssey (or less successfully, The Fountain) has a filmmaker attempted to capture both the origins of life and our ultimate destination. Director Terrence Malick came of age when movies still mattered. And with Tree of Life, only his fifth feature in forty years, Malick has drawn upon ancient biblical wisdom to prod and comfort adventuresome filmgoers. Some will find it tedious and overreaching.  But those who surrender to the resplendent images may find the experience unexpectedly healing.

Countless stories have started with the problem of pain. We wonder why the innocent suffer. Why do bad things happen to good people?  Tree of Life opens with quotations from the book of Job. In the biblical narrative, Job loses his wife, his children, his health and his home. Friends offer bad advice, blaming him for his ordeal, suggesting he repent from whatever sins caused God to send so much suffering.

continue reading

Tree of Life Debuts at Cannes

On Monday morning, Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life was seen for the first time in public, at its monumentally anticipated premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. At long last, after years of delays and steadily building hype, Life was seen by its first public audience.

The screening took place early in the morning at 8:30am Cannes time (reportedly there were long queues even at 7am, including fights, pushing, and near-riots), or 11:30pm PST, so of course I stayed up to monitor the feedback on Twitter. Predictably, the initial buzz is all over the map, with some heralding it as a masterpiece and others scratching their heads. Reportedly the screening was met with both sustained cheers and a few isolated boos (not atypical for Cannes). In any case, Malick’s film is certainly the talk of the festival.

continue reading
Syndicate content

Bloggers in Cannes


Sign-up for the Newsletter
Sign-up for the Newsletter
Get the latest updates on relevant news topics, engaging blogs and new site features. We're not annoying about it, so don't worry.