Monthly Archives: July 2011

Of Gods and Men a moving tale of faith, hope, and courage

Rumors concerning Of Gods and Men have surfaced all over the place, whether through forums or actual reviews, ever since it lost a nomination for the Foreign Film Oscar. Some critics bemoaned the fact that it was snubbed, as to them it was among the best films of the year from any country. Unfortunately, very few of the films eligible for that Academy Award ever make it stateside by the ceremony, and most audiences haven’t seen or even heard of the victor. But this week, Of Gods and Men finally makes its way onto DVD, and the result is rather astonishing. Here is a film that will go largely unnoticed, yet shouldn’t; a film that few in the U.S. will see, when it should be required viewing specifically to this country.   Continue reading

The Tree of Life a lyrical study of the soul

Brad Pitt once asked, “If our fathers are our models for God, what does that say about God?”  Starring Pitt, Terrence Malick’s latest film The Tree of Life taps into the familial as it relates to the supreme “I Am,” with the great human questions of the soul echoed in spectacular images of the cosmic and earthly.  There’s a human compulsion to categorize and simplify and it’s no different when it comes to religion: whether Richard Dawkins ridicules ignorant blind believers or Pat Buchanan scolds godless heathen countries, it’s an unseemly dichotomy especially virulent in U.S. society.  Anyone who tries to perform the same flimflam in describing Tree of Life should be shackled in the town square, as it shoots for the human holy with carrying a crusading flag. Continue reading

The Tree of Life a deeply philosophical American masterpiece

Here at The Filmsmith we have followed the development of this project, from filling you in on the debut of the trailer, to including it in our list of anticipated films. When it was at Cannes, we covered it from afar, and when it seized the top prize, our enthusiasm reached its apex. But now that it has been seen, can it possibly hold up to our vast expectations? In short, no. No film is ever quite what you think it will be, especially one shrouded in mystery, which Terrence Malick’s films tend to be. The better question is whether or not it disappointed. The answer to that is a resounding no, also. It was an altogether strange film, challenging in many regards, and far more experimental than even Malick has produced before, but none of this stopped it from being an incredibly moving portrait of childhood that managed to ask questions about life and death, good and evil, nature and grace. It really blew my mind. Continue reading