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The Movie: The Tree of Life
Film Review


The Movie: The Tree of Life is a brilliant new form of cinematic art and a masterpiece by director, Terrence Malik.

The best way to appreciate the film is to flow with the imagery and drop all expectations of a conventional narrative. This is cinematic poetry, passionate and true, that is richly layered with the euphoria of human experience.

The premiere of "The Tree of Life" at the Cannes film festival last year hauntingly echoed, in a way, the premiere of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" in 1913. Now considered a magnum opus, Stravinsky's towering work caused a near riot when it was first performed; and similarly at Cannes, the boos and hisses during the first showing of "The Tree of Life" were punctuated by intermittent cries of "Genius!" Isn't it interesting how so much dissension is generated by anything deemed as "different?"

I scanned the scathing reviews posted online about this daring film and was saddened but not surprised. Most people would rather worship the sterile conformity that feeds our consumeristic nation than step outside the feeding frenzy and savor a new and startling flavor. I wonder how art will continue to survive in a world where its occupants are so tragically losing their ability to see and hear. In an artistic sense it is like Puritanism come full circle, where a creative act of staggering originality incites a witch hunt of unfair criticism.

"The Tree of Life" is "The Rite of Spring" of cinema. You may feel ambivalent about it -- or even hate it -- but like other great works from the past that were once maligned and misunderstood, "The Tree of Life" will reveal its brilliance with age and become a true film classic.

Buy the DVD at Amazon.com


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