The other day my aunt and I were exchanging movie lists. I told her that if there was one movie above all to rent it was The Tree of Life. I had watched it earlier this year for the first time and found myself at a complete loss for words after. The movie left me in quite a funk. It was like someone had reached into the depths of my subconscious and extracted these images, we all know and put them all together like a gigantic puzzle of the universe. I looked at my husband, who begrudgingly joined me for that two and a half hour daydream and smiled. He didn’t exactly share in my enthusiasm. If you ever find yourself in the deep recesses of your mind contemplating how it all started, how infinite is the ever expanding universe and what does it even mean to be human, then this movie is for YOU.
Later that same day, I plopped down on the couch and pulled up the guide, low and behold what was starting in 3:00 minutes? The Tree of Life. I dialed in to the HD version (you need to see the cosmos in HD) then announced to anyone listening on twitter or facebook COME WATCH with me. Totally unscripted and much to my surprise my kids, 6 and 15, joined me on the couch.We watched the entire movie together in silence. It was everything I could have wanted for them to experience all that symbolic imagery, so good for the right brain. I have my own copy now in the queue when I need a creative boost.
“Unless you love, your life will flash by”
The movie stars Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain, its a story of a family from Waco Texas in 1956 who losses a son, much of the movie is played out through the eyes of the oldest of three boys (played by Sean Penn). Its about not only the of a child but the death of innocence. From a photographers stand point, every scene is cinematographic gold. Emmanuel Lubezki (cinematographer of Children of Men) has an artistic view of the world, he has found success channeling this through the medium of cinematography. In The Tree of Life, the camera angle seems to almost always start at ground level and moves up. It is all about perspective. If you want to become a better photographer WATCH THIS FILM it will teach you all about perspective.
movie stills // cottonwood productions
Let go of your conventional idea of what a movie should be and let this one just happen.
And tell me this music does not haunt you, take a listen (below). The The Tree of Life (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Alexandre Desplat is nothing short of ethereal but does not include many of the songs you hear throughout the 139 min. movie. Gathering them all has become a bit of a scavenger hunt for me. You can find the song, Funeral Canticle on the 4 song album from John Tavener’s John Tavener: Eternity’s Sunrise – Academy of Ancient Music, Paul Goodwin & Andrew Manze. You may remember John Tavener’s Song For Athene that played during Princess Diana’s funeral on Sept 6th 1997.