The Tree of Life (2011)


A movie by Terence Malik. Years of scuffling to get it made. Hugely but hopelessly ambitious.

The storyline is nothing new. It’s embarrassingly sentimental.


In the middle of this grasping movie are several minutes in which Douglas Trumbull, the special effects magician of 2001: A Space Odyssey, simulates the unimaginably violent, unthinkably scaled Cosmos as we know it in our limited ways, a dramatization by that now old-fashioned visual effects genius conveyed in an unbroken sequence of images in which the overpowering still images from the Hubble of the hurtling vastitudes are shown in their overwhelming violence dynamically!

Yes, Trumbull makes the Hubble images come alive.

I have never seen anything like it.

It is an early dawning in our consciousness of what is Out There, seen at the middle distance. Pascal’s terror arises. I’d go to this film just to see the Sequence to end all sequences so far.

Leave a Reply