September 18, 2016 at 4:06PM, Edited September 18, 4:07PM

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The Tree of Life - Analysis

I just finished my third video essay on Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" (2011). You can watch it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhD2noHl18s

A very divisive film but deeply layered, So I was wondering all of your thoughts on it.

3 Comments

I'm welcome to any constructive criticism. I'm fairly new to this medium.

September 18, 2016 at 4:08PM, Edited September 18, 4:08PM

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B.D. Sharples
Cinematographer and Director
229

...One of my absolute favorite films. Despite coming from a heavy-duty Catholic upbringing, I choose to see this film in non-religious terms as I think it transcends religious concepts.

For me it's all about finding meaning in the universe. When you are born and raised as a child, your universe is very small, consisting of your family and friends.

At first your parents seem super-human. They created you, they took care of you, and they were your safety-net when you got yourself into trouble. As you grow older, you start to realize that your parents have the same flaws and insecurities that you have, but they have taken on the responsibility of creating a home and raising children.

You know that your own childhood will end at some point and that you will have to become an adult, with your own set of responsibilities.

As an adult you grow older and your parents eventually pass away, leaving you to try and find meaning in your own life, in the relationships you've formed with your family and friends.

At some point you start to consider your own mortality, and what might lie beyond this human existence.

...What makes this film a new art form for me was Malick's decision to make his character's inner-dialog equivalent to their outer-dialog, where the audience is constantly aware of each character's inner emotional state and what gives meaning to their lives.

You hear their inner hopes and dreams, along with their insecurities and fears, and I think many people will recognize something of themselves in Malick's characters. Recognize the angst of the human condition where we really don't have a lot of control over what actually happens in our own lives.

September 18, 2016 at 11:07PM, Edited September 18, 11:13PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
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Wonderful insight. I as well grew up in a strict Catholic family. This film was great therapy for me and hope for you as well.

September 21, 2016 at 7:33PM, Edited September 21, 7:33PM

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B.D. Sharples
Cinematographer and Director
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