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Everything posted by Jacques

  1. Great topic, thankyou for your curiosity, like how u phrased " due to his/her own misplaced sense of perfection?", as well , well phrased. Jack in Malick's Tree of life comes to mind... David's "brother" in Speilberg's A.I. too perhaps? Oh and Kazan's East of Eden(1955)
  2. The Erotic Theology of Mad Men via Michael P. Foley at First Things.
  3. Belly of and Architect...do postcards to a dead architect count?
  4. King Lear - Shakespeare Divine Comedy -Dante Till we Have Faces -CS Lewis Winters Tale- Mark Helprin The Gideon's Bible ( so lonesome and waiting there- i always double check to see )
  5. An animated 15 min film by Directors William Joyce & Brandon Oldenburg , film website here. Its fantastic.... the i-pad app is beautiful as well and worth the price of admission. Now off to see if my own books can fly...
  6. Tree of Strife Terrence Malick’s new film—a cinematic meditation on God, grace, and the wretchedness of man—is an important and masterful work of art. It’s also the least Jewish film ever made. Liel Liebowitz explores the film, grace and Augustine overthere at Tablet
  7. Thanks thats a good point about Elihu
  8. Peter C absence noticed, glad your better and back...i knew the term parasitic would ruffle , hence my awareness of the lack.. it is silly perhaps but i was coming from the stand point of the Critic in Ratatouille - his vampire vibe... before he tastes a thing of beauty.. shifting his paradigm...and regaining some palor too his skin and heart as well. re: are critics bad , of course not-that would be silly but like Jobs friends they can miss the point*... and as is the case we see in the Anton Ego of Ratatouille(2007). Anton Ego: In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more. They can be honest as critic Benjamin DeMott in the New York Times Book Review talki of a book by MArk Helprin,,, “I find myself nervous, to a degree I don’t recall in my past as a reviewer, about failing the work, inadequately displaying its brilliance.” And personal to a level of as Ebert July2 2011 Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" is a film of vast ambition and deep humility, attempting no less than to encompass all of existence and view it through the prism of a few infinitesimal lives. The only other film I've seen with this boldness of vision is Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," and it lacked Malick's fierce evocation of human feeling. There were once several directors who yearned to make no less than a masterpiece, but now there are only a few. Malick has stayed true to that hope ever since his first feature in 1973. ** missing the point can be the content of a good tale and narrative arc too.
  9. Favorite reviews VJ Morton Scott Derrickson and Joel C... Published: Eberts for the heart and Overstreet's for the brain, his thoughtful handling of dissonance and the honesty …I'd like to recognize the talented, Alejandro Adams too but that segment reminded me to too much of a Saturday Night Live skit , the impressionism of Dinosuars and the criticism of Malicks expressionism this irony had me in stitches.. and even recalled the professor in that movie line of Annie Hall, and sadly as he is a talent Adams lost me with mentioning Agee while ignoring James Agee's own symphonic works that are quite in common with said film being reviewed …. this omission seemed inferior at best , glaring at worse making it seem like indy IFC kitch, a young Hamlet lamenting on the ghost of his artistic father for not going along with his own expectations…and his own anxieties of influence ( see Bloom ) Anders wonderfully wrote: "I think those who read the mother as some sort of symbol of grace are off a bit. Rather, I think she is the primary vessel for Jack's "experience" of grace in his own life, and that colours his perception." I wonder . the use of symbol or better vessel of grace in light of this is ironic…lets discern, as here, does one really want to use the word vessel as an objective-correlative it seems off. Saying Mrs Obrien is a symbol does not mean she is immaculate….whats the dissonance there? the only commonality to Mary is that they share a death of her son…and offers that death up ….in obedience, i.e. fiat.. we accept portrayels of grace in music by the Beatles or in songs by U2 but in film ? Im biased yes, foolishly so, and on a personal level i have shakenly witnessed this outside of my love of film and books and thus hold fast to this recognition presented by this film..this obedience this faith...whether in the blocking of a pieta scene… in the physical sense or verbally as little or fleeting as here in the Tree of Life …a humbling catalogue all, and fall before such Love. Capitol L , full stop, period. First i do not mean to come off snarky, I appreciate the efforts Anders and of others who hold to another vantage, and learn accordingly, but there is something afoot and while it seems more like analogy of the glass half empty or half full: - our distinctions and conclusions perhaps may have more to do with our traditions than perhaps the film itself. Regardless the dialogue here is rich and rewarding. Perhaps even more rewarding as the bold insertion by Malick of that magical realism( if thats more palpable) of her levitating….its remarkable…some might see Tarkovsky…others Chagell.. and in Catholic tradition theres a few that fly..st Joseph of Cupertino comes to mind.. regardless , I find it striking this leap on the part of the director. Is this is the only leap of (faith) exhibited in his (Malicks) work ? Would the symbol be better if it was more secular: a freudian or Jungian symbol instead - would that help explain the mystery ..whats the need here by some to throw the baby out with bath water? With all do respect yet I find this surprising even here at A&F and in this case a reductionism of incarnational art that for me, this film presents as an example.
  10. And of his other films the only one to show parenting*** too...the glimpse of marriage, the silences as well. And on a lighter note baseballs cards in bicycle spokes, and letting go of your ride in a sunplashed meadow.... kapow. Was the dinosaur bone or rock found and heaved by the middle son ( was it him?) in that meadow ....was that some remnant of one of the dinosaurs earlier ? ***correction The New World ....the scene with her baby and one of the most transplendent joy filled hide and go-seek games ever put to film but never like this....over the kitchen table no less... in the most mundane manner...as memorial with a candle( or was that a counter top)... as a parent and as estranged son just trying to get through the meal without pissing off the old man or counterpoint regain lost ground in connection with your child... and even there as place of solace at job loss...reconciliation... Also i was moved by the fall of Jack (Job 31:1 mentions a covenant with the eyes ).... i had a complete suspension of disbelief taken in so .... not since Jackson's Gollum have I been drawn in by a slip, pardon the pun, into a "bent" habit of being and how subtle its unintentional consequences compound. gollum...cough..... golllum....we wansth our Malick....we needsth our Malick, even when itsth not Juicthy thweet nor on our own termmms. The Mysthery endures.
  11. Scottt Cairns review is just exceptional amd draws you in so, look forward and congrats!!!
  12. Bravo! "So shines a good deed in a weary world" to quote the Wonka... No its not lame... its true, and all Philippians 4:8 baby... HUGE and i say again bravo, I'd buy you a beer but i can only type this, Yes..this was your Yawp- your courage, you stood on the desk and said my captain. my captain! Whats better- is this is real ! Real and in common as Bukowsi looking at a snarling dog and saying "ohhh beautiful" real as saying susan sontag is self indulgent crap by way of Bull Durham...real as an Al Pacino rant about the rat ship of acedia and the status quo in Scent of a Woman. But whats better you were moved by a work of art and fortified by it...and that experience is yours that no critic professional or misguided soul or bore can squash with correction, dismissal or sarcasm. And for that i raise my glass, cheers Greg and know this thats the stuff of legend and be sure of this ,as one of my Uncles told me. "your now a part of their memory, and their tell there grand-kids, their lovers, their friends about you.. one who stood up in a theatre and pushed back.. Now on to Coltrane, what a fantastic analogy.
  13. Walking in and Walking Right Back Out of ‘The Tree of Life’ by way the New York TImes reading the posts are good too.... a play of voices one part Under Milkwood meets Wilder's Our Town, equaling aesthetic arrest. And for any who might be interested, re. said referent Tree of Life, you might like this article of its use in scripture The Tree of Life: Protological to Eschatological i only mention this because of Melville pencil markings in his own bible at Isaiah 27:1 I wonder now of the markings in Malick's Holy Bible as well. And what of the Sunflowers frame in the film? eye myself thought John12:24 that and Van Gogh another image maker whose faith and sufferings as a failed pastor turned artist resonates, I can only wonder. and to some, i know such comparisons are a stretch.... And speaking of suffering, trees, wood, the scene with Jack handing the small wood plank that really was memorable for where did that wood come from...then the scenes with the lamp socket, the bb gun... if not here then why include, all especially in light of the pov shot of this same brother looking at the face of Christ there in that mosaic of stained glass-ecce homo.
  14. Jeffrey O in #488 wrote It's interesting that we're never given access to the POVs of Jack's brothers. I recall theres a shot of Jack's fated brother looking at the stained Glass window of Jesus, the crown of thorns, would this not qualify? Or is the shot then the brother... p.s thanks for the response to my earlier post as well, Jeffrey appreciated the Chesterton vibe of the crowns! and putting on Grace by U2 accordingly Attica ty for sharing the response in the theatre,,, i love to watch people take in a film, a bit of Cinema Paradisio i guess.... your point here resonates, you wrote: 'For example, afterwards I was wondering as to the functions of grace and when grace should be replaced by a painful but sometimes necessary corrective response. Maybe the word replaced isn't even appropriate,as correcting his behaviour before it caused more damage could have been a merciful act. It would have stopped separation between him and the kids and maybe helped him to sort out his issues." Troubled i was too, I read Flannery O'Connor's The Lame Shall Enter First ....it helped answer what you so astutely bring up, as do her other stories... and do also read Parkers Back where sacramental beholding (hat tip to Mleary, and HAns Urs Von Balthasar)...incarnational art and iconoclasm meet. This latter one, Parkers Back, remarkably raises similar issues in the 'howness' of responding to an artwork based on grace and the arc of its movement. It echoes some of the same dissonance as found here in response to Malicks Tree of LIfe as well. Where an art work should show and not tell...and the eyes of faith, that Jack in the Tree of Life recovers.
  15. if thats the case then... John Rolfe: [voiceover] Who are you? What do you dream of? Pocahontas: We are like grass. Pocahontas: [voiceover] Mother, why can I not feel as I should... must? Once false, I must not be again. Take out the thorn. Pocahontas: [voiceover referring to John Rolfe] He is like a tree. He shelters me. I lie in his shade.* Tell me, whats lazy or naively idealogical about these words ,,,,or was Malick's screenplay for Pocahontas just somehow a useless effort at rustic kitsch channeling a cliche of the Song of Songs 2:3 ....? or Paul, even ! Funny Russ ? i don't understand... a thematic guide** as in funny ha ha or funny ...as in to mock...if not, then help me to understand. please, why you go on to disqualify as "a lazy category" tell me whats the proactive category, the one with verve......no Malick's words and direction speak for themselves regardless of the a solipsism of a "lazy category" preferred. Readily, this has nothing to do with it... its a given - the content is there: why the theBook of Job Quote... ? Why the gaze of the little boy looking at the stained glass window... Why the latinism...Grace. or would replacing it with "favor" been better for this day and p.c. age.... Why the blindspots with ignoring Malicks own words, his screenplay and vision as even here: Young Jack: [voice over] Mother. Make me good. Brave. i wonder is being good and brave now naive... if so whats the alternative? Films like Fight Club? Tyler Durden: Shut up! Our fathers were our models for God. If our fathers bailed, what does that tell you about God?
  16. Great article thank u jeffery! " the words "I give you my son" are spoken by Mrs. O'Brien... aren't they? She's speaking to God, isn't she? Isn't this about her surrender of her dead son to the Almighty's will? We see her son - we're drifting away from him on the beach, and he's looking back. I think her capitalization of "Son" suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of that moment." No not exactly a fundamental misunderstanding for its very Marian as portrayed there in the film,,with or with out the capitol S there in that interesting article....its more like a verbal pieta this dialogue is....an open handed offering and a fiat as well of obedience to Gods will...and given that the family is Catholic-- the imagery and words seem to fit. About her representing grace thats a whole 'nother argument. She intimates it though in Jacks eyes and in those memories... beheld if one looks along rather than just at her performance. fwiw : if too obtuse , more on this notion of looking along as mentioned by another Jack here is quite interesting in regard to the content of the Tree of Life and how the film is being received - what with Kitch, MTV, Netflicks, Nova and National Geographic etc.
  17. This Film is more like a sign of contradiction...out of which the hearts of men are revealed. "clear evidence" or otherwise.... I've gained much in the past two days from this thread, especially with your efforts Joel C.and you too Peter C, and why i hold these boards in such high esteem...Darren i tried to read the twiitter on Kitch... good stuff though it took awhile- as its a medium im not familar with...but great stuff ( "the inside " is grand, a good mention procative and recalls Lewis meditations in a toolshed, it was a joy to see the two of you arrive there as well! ) but this film seems to provoke responses more a bit like LL Cool J says in Barry Levinsons 'Toy Story where his character as the adopted policeman ...says" i like my food quarantined i don't want my peas touching my carrots...." Question and wonder #1 : Are our visual senses too keen for our own good…having seen so many hours of films, genres etc…and - echoing the line of Herzog in Wenders, Tokya Ga "that there are no more images in the world left (to film)" Sometimes(maybe all the time really) i need to get of my own way… informed,safe and smug with a knowledge the canon : of Bresson, Tarkovsky and Ozu- put so well, in that tight review of yours Jeffery O. That resonates, ty, I look forward to your second take. I know i have become "too familiar" with Malicks style and now with this trajectory of familiarity am simply overlooking…are we though, not in some similar fashion much like Veruca Salt in Wonka and the Chocolate Factory- and like her, at the encounter of beholding a recombination of organic materials like snoze and berries by a creative as with Wonka or as here with Malick we now...voice either a lament or protest, "there's no such thing as snozbberies…." heaven or even purgatory is not like that..or if a projection of memory in Jack's minds-eye... too much wandering….lock that camera down too please.. too many edits… and please no dino's in c.g.i! About wandering .. why not ? does Antonioni have a monopoly on this use of environment? Why not? Its seems to be a trope to all creatives... Muench in painting , Bergman in the red rooms of Cries and Whispers..the rooms and minicured gardens of LAst Year at Mirinband…Lewis and Dantes characters wander about in their purgatorial visions…do they not… or with Films ending at beaches…Fellini,Truffaut, Angelepolous heck even the mainstream remake City of Angels(1998). And didnt St. Augustine reconcile his conflict/dilemma on the trinity on a beach? but there will always be the FWIW's .. the beancounting...the refereee...well Augustine didnt actually say that....he meeting a boy there, the little one digging a hole in the sands choose a particular to make a point about the trinity...with the ocean there behind both... So why then cant Malick risk and go expressionistic…why not risk like Paul or even like those prophets..be the fool and even go as far and say : don't those extras wandering about bear His image…that Glory too…that grace? Bravo for Malicks efforts of mentioning Glory …even that remembering,,, but it saddens me to see some iconoclasm even here...to mock it and show how clever ( or cute ) one can be..what with all the other great films we have seen and even the recent ones that deal even better with existential angst ... this morning as i got my sorry butt back in church today..and noticed..perhaps because of this thread - that even there in the liturgy of the Mass, the word again "Glory" today and there it will be again tomorrow, with or without me…the Glory word endures there before the sacrament, and as does before the screen sceening one of Malicks film(s)....thats breathtaking..thats vision,,,why parse it. So tell me anyone.. whats the real complaint about the blocking of the wandering scenes or there at the Tree of Life's end. Failed expectations…too much Nova or National Geo...or Mtv...its like saying the Sistine chapel ceiling is too confusing- too much stuff…. but isn't it humbling in the minds eye when the gravity shifts with a phrase like " i bet u couldn't even tell me what the sistine chapel even smells like…" as mentioned in Good will Hunting-and eventhen it reframes expectation and makes u see something in a whole new light.. we like still,soft whispers in the bible...but in film....no no... why? -- "it is the job of the critic to keep pointing out what the artist has actually done, and to probe or explain the discrepancies that might arise between those two things." Yes there's kids and adults that cant play the game and just enjoy being the referee i understand and appreciate that…. but this line if one is gong to be didactic… amounts to bean counting and reveals the worst- a dry parasitic relationship.. who remembers Kael or Kazin… its the directors and those confusing works that endure - critics are a counterpoint much like Job's friends to the referent,,...each bean counting away theology while overlooking faith , basically theory crafting second hand. Again i understand the intent but still its after the fact, as the critic even states in Pixars Ratatouille...and how even there before something good true and beautiful he has a childhood memory a drawing into.. by art no less.. how much is this like Ebert, with his own blog review on the Tree of Life.... its all amazing...and for that i find the Tree of life successful and better than the easier early work... i look forward to revisiting it again like a good friend and much like a good book.
  18. Terrence Malick's Song of Himself V - The Tree of Life: Los Demiurgos from Niles Shwartz And there is also some other essays on Malicks previous work as well. note: pardon if content from this site has been mentioned before...just caught the a.m. showing of the film and in a bit of a fugue state.
  19. Cinema Paradisio takes on The Tree of Life.... "This is just a fun story for those that love hearing some amusing film news from around the world. I caught on Twitter last night via @theangrymick that an Italian movie theater named Lumière apparently played Terrence Malick's new film The Tree of Life for a full week out of order, but no one really noticed. more here
  20. Sounds familiar too... regardind these Difficult Gifts that Pinkerton writes of .. resonant and echoing as well these lines..as here riffed by the Coens take on the book of Job (young Elihu) as well: Rabbi Scott: You can't cut yourself off from the mystical or you'll be-you'll remain-completely lost. You have to see these things as expressions of God's will. You don't have to like it, of course. Larry Gopnik: The boss isn't always right, but he's always the boss. Rabbi Scott: Ha-ha-ha! That's right, things aren't so bad. Look at the parking lot, Larry. [Rabbi Scott gazes out, marveling] Rabbi Scott: Just look at that parking lot. A Serious Man (2009)
  21. "When people express what is most important to them, it often comes out in clichés. That doesn't make them laughable; it's something tender about them. As though in struggling to reach what's more personal about them they could only come ..." Quote is from an interview with Beverly Walker in Sight and Sound 1975 published in Terrence Malick Contemporary Film Directors by Lloyd MIchaels p 104. ©2009 so sorry i didn't include... it was a long day then & a bit stale with A&f format since a long absence. see the page via google books here
  22. With the opening quote from the book of Job, the film being about a Catholic family.... a filmmaker whose wife is devout Catholic.... the telling incident that Jeffrey shares with Malick's father, plus this below about Sheen and a very good friend....all leaves one to wonder, much like that voice over in Magnolia (1999) : "And it is in the humble opinion of this narrator that this is not just...one of those things.". Sheen, who is still married to Templeton, has been sober for 20 years and is now a devout Catholic, having had his faith restored by a series of meaningful conversations in Paris in 1981 with Terrence Malick, the director of Sheen’s breakthrough film, Badlands (1973). source And here below its a bit more amplified ... “In 1981, Sheen became a Catholic again. He remains devout and is never happier than when talking about God. “If you don’t believe in God, I don’t believe you can be a true artist By God I mean a sense of the divine, of the mystery in our humanity. It is in our vulnerability, in our darkness that God dwells.” It would be easy to shrug this off as a different kind of cliché. Man finds God and finds himself. But a quote of Terrence Malick’s made in reference to Badlands – in the only interview that this very private man has given – puts it in a more interesting perspective.“When people are trying to express what is most important to them, it often comes out in clichés – as though struggling to reach the most personal they can only come up with the most public.” The revelation of the personal in public. It could be a definition of acting. Sheen was with Malick in Paris in 1981 when he reverted to his Catholic faith. “I’d thrown it away when I was 21, I was a fool, frankly.” He was in Paris making a film, Enigma, and hadn’t seen Malick in years. He simply bumped into him on the street. “Malick had left Los Angeles, stopped making films, and was teaching. “He felt he was being corrupted in Hollywood.” It was Malick, Sheen says, who gave him the courage to go back to religion. “He clarified my thinking, he gave me clear roads, it was the turning point of my life.” It was Malick who told him that the seeds of the future are sown in the past. That to become yourself you have first to go back.” source
  23. Some nice take aways in the collaboration between Terrence Malick and Emmanuel Lubezki, AMC. "In the following conversation, Lubezki explains his collaborative with Malick and the thought processes that led to their decisions. Terrence Malick is known as a very visual filmmaker. How does that affect your work? Films have inherited a lot from other arts, like theater and literature. Since I first met him many years ago, I have felt that Terry is trying to make films, and to express himself, without using the part of film’s DNA that comes from these other arts. The images in his films are very, very important to him. Sometimes he says to me, “Dialog is not what I’m trying to capture. I’m trying to capture an emotion, and I want to do that visually.” I think he has succeeded, and that’s why his films are so strong. How does that translate into filmmaking techniques? It’s incredibly difficult. We joke that we are like fishermen. We are trying to get little bits from a river that is constantly flowing. Sometimes you catch one or two, and sometimes you don’t. It’s very nerve-wracking. Sometimes it seems like he is almost trying to create a mistake, to take the actors and the camera to a place where they are going to crash. And it’s those little accidents and moments which are in the film and look naturalistic. Those are the truly visually expressive moments." sourcee
  24. V.J. MORTON wrote: I think Malick has reconfigured the Book of Job as a stream-of-conscious novel, sort of how Joyce reconfigured THE ODYSSEY. Malick uses all kinds of Biblical motifs without being tied down to a straight-down-the-line allegory/transposition (e.g., Jessica Chastain is photographed and characterized as if she were Blessed Virgin Herself, though her son isn't The Son) because it's as much a memory piece as a cosmology. The film's first "movement" sets up the conventional Job/theodicy question -- why do we suffer? The second movement is God's cosmic answer -- "Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth?" (in the Douay-Reims rendition; don't remember which translation Malick used for the first part of his opening title card) rendered cinematically as a Creation story. The third movement is the subjective memories of a discontented modern Catholic man (Penn) going through a spiritual reconciliation with his boyhood paternal resentments, which the memories themselves are the progressive record of (is that clear?). Or as I said with Christian and Davis on Saturday night -- a soul finding its contentment. The fourth movement is Heaven, the ultimate contentment -- a reconciliation of all his memory, when he sees as he is seen. The second part of Malick's Job card has (significantly, I think) an ellipse and is itself broken into two ideas -- "When the morning stars praised me together (the second movement and the environment in the third), and all the sons of God made a joyful melody (the soul's process of Becoming which is the third movement, and the consummation of which is the Fourth)." Is that clear? Yes!!! i read Job last week.. or rather Job read me.... had similar and very small intuitions that maybe, maybe..and the Marian theme, oh ya , but was fearful to project too much, as i haven't seen the film yet here in Phoenix- save for the clips i can get my hands on. But here to see these words, as beautifully written here,and with such clarity of thought this i could never gain nor reach thank you so very much V.J. Morton. Parsiflage thank you too for the link to Mirror ( ha- the coincidence of Tarkovsky of all things ) Kartina Richardson's words there on The Tree of Life is a keeper about gettin out of her own way and this "but smiling, she says “Shhh shhh. Just listen.” i read that and i was like Yesss! And here again something good, suggestive and echoing the words of Malick...(those that are in bold below). I include full context and source with a big hat-tip to Peter Chattaway's efforts as well, as he cited this on his great blog a while ago . “Later, at Theater Bartlesville, Malick said, “I knew it would have a slow, rolling pace. Just get into it; let it roll over you. It’s more of an experience film. I leave you to fend for yourself, figure things out yourself… I film quite a bit of footage, then edit… Changes before your eyes, things you can do and things you can’t. My attitude is always let it keep rolling… There’s a good many pictures I’d like to make, we’ll see how many I’ll be allowed to make…” from: Susan Albert of the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise catches up with a Terrence Malick Q&A 2005 This has bean such an exciting thread to watch these past 3 daysyou Scott Derrickson u helped assuage some bleak fears...captivated now with a growing good in a little dossier of bookmarks a la the artist Joseph Cornell to enrich the experience and to help J.Overstreet, but these...wow.
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