Tag Archives: Thre Tree of Life

Total Annihilation Is the New Black (Repost)

CRAMER VS KILLOUGH | REVIEW

starring Christopher Cramer and James Killough

Given that Melancholia was released this past weekend, we are reposting the video review.

In the video portion that is part two of yesterday’s piece, there was so much to say about Lars von Trier’s Melancholia that didn’t make it into the review, sadly, or it would have been half an hour long.  No doubt we could have waxed even more poetic about Kirsten Dunst’s breasts, too, but we seem to have given that enough air time as it is.

What didn’t make the cut is that Melancholia isn’t just a great film, it is the anti-Tree of Life, which in the footage now lying on the editing room floor, James called “pseudo-spiritual cack.”  This is the film that should have won the Palme D’Or, not TOL.  Robert De Niro, the head of the jury this year, is clearly becoming something of a sentimental old buffoon if he couldn’t see it.

But wait: those Hitler/Nazi statements of von Trier’s at the press conference. Forgot about those. Bad taste trumps great art every time, for a time. We take that back, Mr. De Niro.  Carry on.

Oh, and James doesn’t really have jet-black eyebrows and beard, and beady, creepy eyes.  We had to increase the contrast on the video to see Chris’ face properly.

Chris rates Melancholia:

James rates it:

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Filed under Cramer vs Killough, Reviews, Reviews & Interviews

Fantasia Redux

THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES | REVIEW

by James Killough

It would not be wrong to describe Terrence Malick’s Cannes Palme D’Or-winner The Tree Of Life as a two-hour-fifteen-minute ad for a fictitious Calvin Klein “Existence” perfume, brought to you in part by the Museum of Natural History, the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and the Episcopal Diocese of Waco, Texas.

Tree is for lovers of films with no conventional plot like Baraka and Godfrey Reggio’s Qatsi series.  In other words, smoke a hefty spliff, stack up on the muchie rations and prepared to murmur “wow.”

The ubiquitous walking-into-the-sunlight shot that seems to have pleased the Cannes jury so much. Step away from the shrooms, Mr. De Niro.

I wasn’t in Cannes this year, and per my earlier post it is unlikely I would have seen the rest of the films in competition even if I had been, but I can understand why awarding the Palme D’Or to this caused so much controversy.  It’s beautiful, yes, but it is not great cinema by my standards.  And this is coming from a huge Terrence Malick fan.  It isn’t even intellectually stimulating from an esoteric spirituality point of view.  But, after all those years in India and with the Sufis, I’m really jaded that way.

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