I’ve been thinking about the movie Tree of Life, and I haven’t really gotten anywhere. A nice, attempted partial explication of the themes was written by Matt Zoller Seitz, but take a look at this quote:
Why is there a creation sequence? What does it mean?
It’s probably in there because Malick has been imagining the creation of the universe since he was a boy, and always wanted to see it depicted on a big screen.
This bothers me a little bit. Basically, Malick gets to produce this entire rambling piece that Seitz describes as a puzzle with no box art. Malick doesn’t do interviews. We don’t know what Malick truly intended. So, we have to place an enormous amount of trust in Malick, that he actually does have an overarching artistic vision.
What if he doesn’t?
If there’s no strict vision, then Malick gets to just toss in scenes of whatever he wants, whenever he wants to. The viewers and critics are forced to do intellectual backflips to connect dots that might not have even been meant to be connected.
I think I trust Malick, but I don’t really have any reason to do so. I’m not sure if all the dots are worth connecting.
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