Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Make me chaste, but not now.

We here at the Hungry Ghost Blog have taken vows of rhetorical chastity. We have agreed that the function of the artist in society is best protected through the respect and humility of the critic and audience.

But, I can declare, without having seen it, that Terence Malick's new movie is unbearable. Moving from an 'evocation of the dawn of time' (all quotes courtesy of Variety) through to 'flurry of awe-inspiring images at astronomical, biological, macro- and microscopic levels: a nebula expanding in outer space; cells multiplying in a frenzy; a school of shimmering jellyfish; darkness illuminated by a volcanic eruption; a bubbling primordial ooze...' we end up with Sean Penn wandering the desert accompanied by 'biblical imagery.'

It is a 'a transfixing odyssey through time and memory that melds a young boy's 1950s upbringing with a magisterial rumination on the Earth's origins', and is 'nothing less than a hymn to the glory of creation.'

Took six years to make and, to be fair, seems to contain within it a pretty good coming of age movie starring Brad Pitt in the Robert Duvall role...

If the penalty for missing this one were summary execution, I'd write my will.


David Chute said...

Fair to suggest that if this sort of "maximalist" ambition were evinced by a novelist, you'd be more sympathetic?

Just wondering, as I'm well on my way to getting bogged down for the second time in "Infinite Jest." At least you'd spend way less time getting shut of a movie.

I'm sure you're right, though. Loved the comment on my e-- on the blog of the woman I used to be married to (see how awkward?): "Sat there fervently wishing I was re-watching 'The Expendables.'"

Tulkinghorn said...

How about "Anne"?

There are sense-of-wonder SF writers who might come close to this from time to time, although it's usually integrated into the story.. I would not be sympathetic to this in a book either.

It's exceedingly immature. Only in Hollywood would anyone over the age of fifteen think this worth doing.

I'm trying to remember a movie in which a guy filming a wedding comes up with something that looks a lot like Malick's movie.