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Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life - Page 6

post #76 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by bringusingoodale View Post
People are walking out on this movie enough to warrant an article:

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/20...-tree-of-life/

It doesn't surprise me that a lot of people are walking out of what is essentially an experimental/art house film that has piqued popular interest due to its big name stars and success at Cannes. I can name a number of films, many of which are terrific, that would probably be more difficult to sit through for the average filmgoer than "The Tree of Life". The bigger story for me isn't Malick's failure to capture the attention of an audience his film wasn't targeted for but rather the failure of his film to actually be what it was intended to be.
post #77 of 96
I saw it, did not like it. Too art-house for me. The stuff with the family was OK, but even then it kind of went nowhere. I feel like this would be a non-film if Terrence Mallick wasn't so highly esteemed that he can basically do anything and someone will call it genius.
post #78 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob99 View Post
I saw it, did not like it. Too art-house for me. The stuff with the family was OK, but even then it kind of went nowhere. I feel like this would be a non-film if Terrence Mallick wasn't so highly esteemed that he can basically do anything and someone will call it genius.
Again, I think the viewing public needs to be careful about discounting a film because it "goes nowhere". There are plenty of good films that really don't seem to be moving anywhere and could easily be cast aside as pointless. I think the best recent example are the films of Apichatpong Weerasethukal (Uncle Boonmee, Blissfully Yours) which have been widely derided by many Western critics for being circuitous and pointless. I find that argument as ridiculous as saying that Mark Rothko's paintings suck because they don't depict anything. On the other hand, several films actually are circuitous and pointless but rely on the fear of audiences and critics not having the balls to just say "I didn't get it and I also didn't like it" for their success. I think "The Tree of Life" falls into this category to some extent though it isn't the worst offender I've ever come across.
post #79 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob99 View Post
I saw it, did not like it. Too art-house for me. The stuff with the family was OK, but even then it kind of went nowhere. I feel like this would be a non-film if Terrence Mallick wasn't so highly esteemed that he can basically do anything and someone will call it genius.

About as good an analysis as I've seen. My wife and I saw it last night. About a third of the audience walked out after about a half-hour. We had something of a laugh as the people poured out, even a handicapped lady on one of those scooter devices. The Creation of Universe/Evolution of Life bit (or whatever the hell it was supposed to be) was what got them. We were just as glad we gutted it out to the end, but we wouldn't recommend it to anyone, maybe because at heart I am something of a crude brute and my wife is the consummate middlebrow! A few people in the audience applauded, but the majority of them (those who stayed) seemed to share our reaction of, "What the hell was that all about?"
post #80 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
I find that argument as ridiculous as saying that Mark Rothko's paintings suck because they don't depict anything.
I was discussing this with someone the other day and my viewpoint is that if someone says Rothko paintings suck, it's an entirely valid viewpoint, even if the person is a complete philistine, as many of the people that would say such a thing are. Personally, I've never liked Rothko to the degree I felt I was supposed to like him. I just don't care about them, despite my support of their theoretical value. I think the broader point is that people who create films or art with few directly observable means of artistic value have to accept their limitations without faulting the ignorant of audiences. If the concept of Rothko paintings is to create a sensory experience that displaces a person from their prior emotional state to engage some new one, it's completely valid response to call the artist a failure if 99 out of 100 people would have no attachment to one of his paintings if it wasn't hanging in a museum and supposedly worth $40 million. I don't fault people for declining to contextualize artwork within the theoretical or historical canon before they say it sucks. I've liked each of the three Mallick films I've seen, and look forward to this one, but there is such a burden for people to acclimate their tastes to their peers that I think it's entirely refreshing and honest when people simply and remorselessly decide not to give a shit about something they're told to appreciate.
post #81 of 96
I saw it June 24,I was one of 3 people in the theater when it was over. So many people got up and left. When I left the theater the couple who sat the movie out asked for a refund.

I don't think the vast majority of people who will see it in the upcoming weeks will 'get it'. It is incredibly ambitious, visually appealing, but could have been executed differently. I will see it again, and honestly I hope it cleans up at awards. It deserved the Palm d' Or, and anything else it receives considering the utter swill that's been released recently.
post #82 of 96
Apparently there was an Italian theatre that ran the film out of order for an entire week and nobody said anything. They switched the order of two reels, and in the middle of the movie there was a production logo on screen. I don't know if that's good or bad.
post #83 of 96
In meiner Meinung ist es möglich gut für mich.
post #84 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenHero View Post
I was discussing this with someone the other day and my viewpoint is that if someone says Rothko paintings suck, it's an entirely valid viewpoint, even if the person is a complete philistine, as many of the people that would say such a thing are. Personally, I've never liked Rothko to the degree I felt I was supposed to like him. I just don't care about them, despite my support of their theoretical value. I think the broader point is that people who create films or art with few directly observable means of artistic value have to accept their limitations without faulting the ignorant of audiences. If the concept of Rothko paintings is to create a sensory experience that displaces a person from their prior emotional state to engage some new one, it's completely valid response to call the artist a failure if 99 out of 100 people would have no attachment to one of his paintings if it wasn't hanging in a museum and supposedly worth $40 million. I don't fault people for declining to contextualize artwork within the theoretical or historical canon before they say it sucks. I've liked each of the three Mallick films I've seen, and look forward to this one, but there is such a burden for people to acclimate their tastes to their peers that I think it's entirely refreshing and honest when people simply and remorselessly decide not to give a shit about something they're told to appreciate.
It seems like you're confusing not linking something with disliking something, as well confusing a lack of apppreciation with dismissiveness. I'm as middle-brow in my tastes as you're likely to find- I admit I know practically nothing about painting-, but there's really only 5%-10% of cultural product I'd say I actively dislike. Of course, tastes often need to be cultivated, and so the question becomes-- is the person open to viewing the art in a mew way, or are they closed to the possibility? If a person finds the artwork sensually repellant on the surface, or morally objectionable, that person will likely revisit their opinion only on their own time. A person may also be concerned that their failure to protest a work may be taken as tacit approval of art-fart flim-flammery- silent assent to the emperor's clothes- which, of course, can be a valid concern. The reverse-philistinism that automatically praises the new and difficult is as corrosive to artistic appreciation as automatic dismissiveness. (As a fan of modernist art music, I squirm whenever I see any critical comment to a modernist piece on YouTube- no matter how considered the criticism, nor how turgid and bombastic the piece- automatically shouted down with, "GO BACK TO LISTENING TO BRITTINY SPEARS U RETARD!!11") The avant-garde in still-image artwork always enjoyed an easier time going over with the general public than avant-garde music or avant-garde film, if for the simple fact that a still image doesn't really require any minimum level of involvement on the part of the viewer. A person can look at it for fiftten seconds, or walk past it, or buy it and hang it on their wall and never look at it again. Time-based art requires that you sit there and, if not pay attention, at least try to keep quiet so that other people can. What's funny is that a movie like "The Tree of Life" is far more representational in its subject matter than any number of paintings those very same walkouts might never think to object to, and is far more conventional in its use of cinematic grammar than some blurb of music in a Nike commercial passed unnoticed is in its use of the traditional harmonic language. The issue is not so much the form or the style of the work, but rather the scale to which that form and style is stretched, which for some might make the movie seem more like a work of endurance art.
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbie View Post
I saw it June 24,I was one of 3 people in the theater when it was over. So many people got up and left. When I left the theater the couple who sat the movie out asked for a refund.
Face it, if for no other reason, you'd watch it just for the Americana.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenHero View Post
Apparently there was an Italian theatre that ran the film out of order for an entire week and nobody said anything. They switched the order of two reels, and in the middle of the movie there was a production logo on screen. I don't know if that's good or bad.
Sounds like what happened when my elementary school tried showing a 16mm print of "Where The Red Fern Grows".
post #85 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by tagutcow
Face it, if for no other reason, you'd watch it just for the Americana.

Mesozoic Americana!
post #86 of 96
Has it occurred to anyone else who saw the movie that Sean Penn was somewhat miscast as the middle (?) son grown to manhood in (presumably) the present day? Penn is only 50 years old. The role properly called for a guy in his early to (more probably) his mid 60s. Penn certainly looked awfully young to be having such recollections. The exact dramatic date was a bit vague. The boys are obviously early vintage Baby Boomers. However, if I recall correctly, the family never even had a TV set, which would have been surprising after the very early '50s.
post #87 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
Has it occurred to anyone else who saw the movie that Sean Penn was somewhat miscast as the middle (?) son grown to manhood in (presumably) the present day? Penn is only 50 years old. The role properly called for a guy in his early to (more probably) his mid 60s. Penn certainly looked awfully young to be having such recollections. The exact dramatic date was a bit vague. The boys are obviously early vintage Baby Boomers. However, if I recall correctly, the family never even had a TV set, which would have been surprising after the very early '50s.

To add insult to injury, I thought the Pleisiosaurus was grossly miscast. He was a wooden actor and his skin condition was distracting. Surprised that a stickler for details like Malick would overlook this egregious personnel error.
post #88 of 96
lol. also I'm fairly certain Penn was supposed to be Jack, the oldest son.
post #89 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
I bring this up because Malick's work reminds me a dumbed down version of what Marker was doing. They are both attacking gigantic themes (time, space, memory) but I have always felt that it takes someone with Marker's genius to pull these types of films off without appearing incredibly self-indulgent and pretentious. I just don't think Malick is as intelligent as he thinks he is, and that's why he doesn't get away with some of this stuff.

Pretty apt description. I'd like to call it Tarkowski syndrome.
It is a horrible condition that afflicts many in their artistic pursuits : however it is the most debilitating for musical performers not the filmmakers.
post #90 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewRyanWallace View Post
lol. also I'm fairly certain Penn was supposed to be Jack, the oldest son.
I thought he was the one who died (suicide?). It was kind of vague and confusing, especially set as it was at the beginning of the movie. Postscript: On checking with the Wikipedia synopsis, I see that Sean Penn does play the grown-up Jack, which shows you how damn confusing the movie was.
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