30 Days of Film, Day 1: Best film of 2011

The Tree of Life

via The Guardian

No doubt, no debate. It’s quite possible that The Tree of Life is the best film I have ever seen in my life.

It may sound stupid to say it (especially when you think of films as remarkable as 2001: A Space Odyssey), but I had no idea that film could do that.

Do what?

Reach into my soul and converse with my very being. Make me sit in my seat, astonished and amazed at the magic before me. Make me shake with joy as I recall the experience of seeing it.

I think the key here is experience. Yes, we see a lot of great films, with brilliant stories that speak to us. But how many films do we really experience?

An epic poem. A treatise on faith, on childhood, on things lost.

This is a film only for the big screen, the biggest screen you can possibly find. Immerse yourself in it.

I know a lot of people who hated it and saw it as a series of screensavers with a really good second half. I honestly can’t understand that reaction. Faith or no faith, how can you not marvel at the universe? Whether there is some big unknown hand behind it all or (as I personally believe)* an incredible, nonsensical coming together of elements, maths and equations that defy what we can understand right now – how can you not be constantly amazed at the huge mathematical odds that are against our very existence?

The first half is absolutely crucial to the second half. We are but specs of dust and yet we ask so much and are wounded by so little that against all sense we act the way we do.

My first reaction to the film was to drag my friend Franco to the pub and have a long, LONG, discussion about this. Sadly he lives in London and I’m now in Brisbane so I sent him a text instead. It said “Holy fucking shitballs amazing!” … or something like that.

Best film I have seen in my life. Favourite? I’m not sure, but my “top 10” is ever changeable to my moods.

Special mention
Drive

Fuck. What a film. Beautifully shot, great characters, so incredibly moody. The director can’t drive and yet the choices he makes when Gosling’s character is in this vehicle perfectly capture that feeling of being one with a machine, of being in total control. How does he do that?

If you loved Drive, then you must see:
To Live and Die in LA
Rififi
Thief
Shane

I’m not going to give you a viewing list every time, it just feels really important to note the influences on Drive.

Next time – underrated films. Or things you should add to your rental list.

*yes, science is amazing, chaos theory spectacular, and I’m a Hindu who eats beef (because it is delicious), prays to only two gods, and doesn’t like organised religion or priests – deal with it.

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2 thoughts on “30 Days of Film, Day 1: Best film of 2011

  1. I’m still holding you for that LONG conversation about The Tree Of Life. I convinced Jake and Vidur to watch it this weekend and they enjoyed but weren’t brought to their knees which is sad because I thought they had A SOUL!

    • Dammit man, you’re fast! I was still correcting typos.

      YES. I have a good red wine in mind to accompany us during this.

      Incidentally, have you ever seen Jake or Vidur near a reflective surface? I’m pretty sure they’ve been avoiding them for a reason …

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