The Tree of Life (2011)

The Tree of Life has quickly become one of the most talked-about movies ever made. And although it isn’t my favorite of Terrence Malick’s films—that distinction belongs to The New World—I’ve been invited to discuss this movie on more occasions than any other movie… so often, in fact, that I’m eager to take a break from the chatter and the movie, let it go for a while, and return to it with fresh eyes someday in the distant future.

But here is a record of a variety of conversations and commentaries…

Let’s begin with a link to a Kindlings Muse podcast of my discussion of The Tree of Life with Dr. Chris Chaney of Seattle Pacific University and show host Jennie Spohr:

In addition, I’ve written several commentaries on The Tree of Life. 

First, I referred to it in a post at the blog Good Letters about the “handmade” quality of its amazing special effects.

Then, I published a two-part, first-impression reviews at Good Letters.

After that, I saw the film seven more times. And during that time, I grew to love the film’s strengths even more, and my quibbles with it became even smaller.

So you can read some of my more recent responses to, or defenses of, the film here:

A response to the “scandal” of Sean Penn’s critical remarks about the film:

A celebration of the release of the blu-ray:

Also:

I highly recommend this reflection by Vic Sizemore: “Tree of Light.”

And these:

And here are some more thought-provoking reviews:

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.


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