Sunday, October 23, 2011

Introspective film watching

Between The Tree of Life and Melancholia, I am seriously having to re-evaluate the seemingly mundane things of my life. Through the lens of these two films, the mundane becomes deeply profound and perhaps, the purest form of insight on the human experience.
There's something interesting about the fact that both of these films rely on more than the humans to populate the context of the human experience. In The Tree of Life, the story of life is juxtaposed with the creation of the universe and the evolution of Earth and it's inhabitants. In Melancholia, it's the opposite. It's a post-apocalyptic setting on which the human experience is plotted.
I sorta feel like these films should be watched in tandem. I also feel like the people who understand one will also understand the other. They aren't mass-market films by any means, they require a level of concentrated thinking that most films don't allow space for. Theaters are full of people wanting to see Hugh Jackman fight with robots or a vampire fall in love with a beige girl. So few theaters are filled with films that exist to contribute something to, or even define, the artistic zeitgeist.
Of the two films, The Tree of Life is the most approachable honestly and if you can grasp what's going on in it, then the ending is rather hopeful. I don't know if that can be said about Melancholia really, but then again, it's rather open to interpretation, as it should be.
I just think it's interesting that in the same season, we have a film that chronicles the birthing of life and one that chronicles the extinguishing of life, yet both are chronicling the human experience. I recommend seeing them if you're in the mood to think. BUT - I will say this. If you like the Twilight movies, these aren't gonna be for you. I feel rather confident in that blanket statement actually. If you think the Twilight movies are good movies, then you should skip these because they are going to go right over your head. No judgement, but this is a fact based on movie preference. But if you're into movies that make you think, then I recommend thinking your way through these, then giving it a day to mull over before making a judgment call. After all, all good art should make you feel something initially and then allow that feeling to morph and shift as it lingers with you. I love good lingering art.

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