Thursday, May 9, 2013
April 15, 2013 Issue
Is Terrance Malick’s The Tree of Life a great movie? David Denby thinks so. In his “Terrance Malick’s Insufferable Masterpiece” (included in his 2012 collection Do the Movies Have a Future?), he says,
Interminable, madly repetitive, vague, grandiose; an art-history Summa Theologica crossed with a summer camp documentary on the wonders of the universe; sexless yet sexist, embracing of everything in the world but humour (and is wit not as essential to our existence as air?) – Terrance Malick’s The Tree of Life is insufferable. It is also, astoundingly, one of the great lyric achievements of the screen in recent years and a considerable enlargement of the rhetoric of cinema – a change in technique which is also a change in consciousness. An insufferable masterpiece, then; a film to be endured in a state of enraged awe.