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Archive for August 24th, 2015

tree of life 2

by David Schleicher

Malick’s sublime 2011 masterpiece, The Tree of Life, invites you to watch it as a child…and loudly, the producers remind us on the Blu-Ray – not just to hear all the philosophical whispering and pining that highlights the voice-overs, but to sit in aural awe of the classical music and natural sounds that paint with Lubezki’s fluid imagery a cacophony adjacent to dreaming.

Remember the first time you heard a piece from Beethoven as a child but didn’t know exactly what it was, only that it made you feel something you hadn’t before?

We never know exactly what happens in The Tree of Life.  A middle child of three dies at some point, while an older one lives his adulthood in a sterile corporatized environment that couldn’t be further from the Texas Eden he experienced as a child – all of the family lives, loves, pines, mourns, remembers, but in transient states inter-spliced with meditations on the nature of nature, the meaning of life, religion, social mores, grief, motherhood, fatherhood, brotherhood and a cosmic tapestry that denotes the beginning and ending of time.  All meaning what?  We long for that meaning (just as a child – born in the natural state of a scientist – longs for answers to the questions they observe).  But instead, we are summoned to a cinematic cathedral to experience some grand impressionism…where all was formed in childhood.

To claim The Tree of Life is not a film about childhood is akin to claiming one’s childhood experiences have no bearing on how they turn out as an adult.  Childhood is paramount both in life and this film. (more…)

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by Sam Juliano

One more week and September will be upon us.  Some mourn the imminent end of the summer, while others among us are counting the days till the heat subsides and all the various scenic and cultural advantages of the autumn season kick in.  All things considered it does seem like the eighth month has raced by, but whom among us doesn’t feel like time in general is a speedy proposition.

Here at Wonders in the Dark the Childhood/Adolescent Films Countdown is moving along with a seeming sense of purpose.  As can be seen by the page view totals, people are looking in, though there isn’t any point in denying the comments have been rather too few and far in between.  For all the readers of the countdown, we thank you for your support and interest.  To the writers, your work has been exemplary.  We are now in the 30’s, and will continue until October.

Our family worked in two long mileage day trips this past week, and they couldn’t have been any more different.  On Thursday we traveled down to Cape May to walk through the outdoor mall and tour some historical town houses, but most of the day was spent at the ocean in Wildwood -just a few minutes away- and on the world-famous three pier boardwalk.  We are all Wildwood veterans, having spent a week there every summer for eight consecutive year in the nineties, and then going down for a few days in succeeding years.  The second trip on Sunday was far up the Hudson to Hyde Park, the estate of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was born in the lovingly maintained mansion that is part of a fascinating tour that included the FDR museum, rose garden (where he and Eleanor are interred) and specious estate grounds.  The guide imparted a splendid grasp of the history of the place and of Roosevelt’s life.  This is a trip that is well worth the modest investment.  Tickets for adults are $18, with kids 15 and under free. (more…)

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