This is a really interesting philosophical article from the journal of technology and society The New Atlantic reviewing both Terrance Malick’s Tree of Life and Lars Von Triers’ Melancholia. This is because they deal with viewing reality from opposite ends of the spectrum, Tree of Life – life, Melancholia – death and were released around the same time.
In my view ToL is a considerably better film than Melancholia. Perhaps it’s because I have suffered from severe depression myself that I found Melancholia’s central messages to be obvious and self evident. So while it was gorgeously shot and generally put together I didn’t feel I was changed by it in the way that was the intention of the filmmaker. Tree of Life on the other hand is a profound piece of film making visually and aurally which I’ve unfortunately only seen once, I’ll be fixing that soon.
Read the article and let me know what you think.