Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Tree of Life

Ever since Malick returned to cinema with The Thin Red Line, I have been baffled by his films.  I'm sure this isn't a unique reaction.  I get the same feeling when I read T.S. Eliot.  I get the feeling that the mysteries of the universe are hidden in there, but I'm only catching glimpses.  Maybe this is how my students feel when I show them 2001 for the first time.  I remember Bergman writing that cinema is closer to music than any of the other arts.  This is especially true with Malick and in particular with The Tree of Life.  What is the film trying to say?  No idea.  I doubt Malick even knows.  But it's a breathtaking symphonic work.

Here's a question for you, Alek:

What's Sean Penn's character doing here?  Alls I remember is him kind of brooding in his office building.  Is it just showing his dissatisfaction with life despite having a seemingly envious high-power job?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Assistants to the 12 - According to Brandon

Can't argue much with Alek's list, at least as far as historically influential directors go.  Here's my alternate picks of personally influential directors, along with my favorite film from each one.  Same rules as Alek.

George Melies, The Black Imp
Buster Keaton, Sherlock Jr.
Walt Disney (I know, not really a director, but...) Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Jean Renoir, Le Grande Illusion
Ernst Lubitsch, To Be or Not To Be
Yasujiro Ozu, Ohayo
Vittorio De Sica, Bicycle Thieves
Francois Truffaut, Small Change
Jean-Pierre Melville, Le Cercle Rouge
Martin Ritt, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
Andrei Tarkovsky, Stalker
Woody Allen, Annie Hall
James Ivory, A Room with a View