Malicknant Tumor

by Leonard Pierce

Terence Malick’s new film, Treee of Life, has debuted at Cannes, and as is drearily predictable, it’s already causing waves of controversy.  Booing, walkouts, endless vitriol, critics and viewers exchanging invective — the only difference between this and his other films is that now people are having the arguments on Twitter.  Every argument over Malick’s films has already been had, and it probably won’t do any good to rehash the arguments.  I am saying nothing original here, merely venting a personal frustration I have at some of the critical reaction to his work.  I haven’t seen Tree of Life, of course, and maybe it sucks.  But he’s never made anything close to a bad movie, as far as I’m concerned, and is one of the very few authentic geniuses in the medium America has ever produced.  His work is visually stunning to the point of being nearly unimpeachable; it has an emotional impact that belies its narrative simplicity; and it is willing to take chances that almost no one in the realm of commercial filmmaking would dare to take.  So there’s my bias, laid out right here at the beginning

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