To The Wonder (2012): An All-Thumbs Review

To the Wonder 1

What follows is the first episode of a new review series that I'm calling All-Thumbs Video.I've been dreaming of a new venture in long-form film criticism — reviews as fiction. As a speed-writing exercise, I’ll explore conflicting thoughts and feelings about film in rough-draft scenes set in one of the last video stores on earth.This first chapter focuses on Terrence Malick's To the Wonder. I’ve seen the film three times now, and I’m still wrestling with it, arguing with myself and a vari … [Read more...]

Monday Night is Malick Night!

Next Monday evening in Seattle, you're invited to a live podcast discussion of the films of Terrence Malick.You're invited to the Kindlings Muse! Read on for details. … [Read more...]

Sean Penn, The Tree of Life, and the difference between prose and poetry.

The L.A. Times, In Contention, Hollywood Elsewhere... everybody's getting worked up because Sean Penn apparently "dissed" director Terrence Malick and The Tree of Life: I didn’t at all find on the screen the emotion of the script, which is the most magnificent one that I’ve ever read. A clearer and more conventional narrative would have helped the film without, in my opinion, lessening its beauty and its impact. ... Frankly, I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing there and what I was supp … [Read more...]

The Tree of Life: My First Impressions

My first-impression thoughts on The Tree of Life are posted at Image's blog - Good Letters. ...  … [Read more...]

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 com … [Read more...]

The New World (2005)

This review was originally published at Christianity Today.A follow-up review was published at Image upon the release of the "extended cut" of the movie..Both are reproduced below.-The New World - Theatrical Release Review (January 20, 2006)It's all in the eyes.That's one of the lessons in The New World, an epic story of love and change, from the celebrated writer/director Terrence Malick. As the Europeans arrive on North American shores in 1607, we watch history unfold … [Read more...]

Where Is My Tree of Life Review?

A lot of folks have been asking why I haven't posted my review of Terrence Malick's new, Palme d'Or-winning film The Tree of Life.I appreciate the enthusiasm. My zeal for Malick's film The New World may have created the impression that my life comes to a standstill when the reclusive director releases a new film. But that's overstating it. I admire all of Malick's films, yes, but I only feel a great passion for The New World. I've been eager to see The Tree of Life, but the trailer made me … [Read more...]

How Great is Ayn Rand? David Bentley Hart… Shrugs.

In the current issue of First Things, David Bentley Hart delivers a memorable rant on Rand.What does this have to do with Terrence Malick? Read on! … [Read more...]

David Bentley Hart Shrugged (or How Great is Ayn Rand?)

In the current issue of First Things, David Bentley Hart delivers a memorable rant on Rand.What does this have to do with Terrence Malick? Read on! … [Read more...]

“Unless you love, your life will flash by…”

Here comes what may well be the most memorable movie event of 2011 for me... … [Read more...]


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